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South side Mexican spot says its working to fix inspection problems


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South side Mexican spot says its working to fix inspection problems

By Courtny Gerrish. CREATED Aug 7, 2014

MILWAUKEE -  Tonight's restaurant is El Fuego on Layton near 6th Street.  Family owned and operated, this Mexican restaurant takes a lot of pride in its food, as General Manager Ray Awadallah told us.

He said they are also putting a lot of work into fixing the problems - like an employee handling raw meat and then customers' food without washing their hands.  "I think in this instance the cook was a little nervous with the health inspector walking in. Maybe he just tripped up a little bit," Awadallah commented. 

There was also a cross-contamination risk in the coolers - seafood stored behind veggies.  It was fixed during the inspection.  "So you're not grabbing raw meat over the veggies where it can drip and contaminate it," Awadallah showed us.
The plan now is to offer safe food handling classes to all employees.  Awadallah said they don't take the problems lightly.  "Unfortunately mistakes happen, but we're quick to correct them and take precautionary measures so they don't happen again."
They are now using a scoop for the ice instead of a cup.  Tamales on the steam table were not hot enough.  El Fuego decided to make those fresh to order.  Also tomatoes, guacamole and a container of salsa were too warm.  Awadallah said it's all made fresh and was just put in the fridge. "When the health inspector came it didn't get a chance to cool down to the minimum of 41 degrees."
El Fuego has been fined several times by the health department.  Awadallah told us the violations won't happen again.  "We do take all of our violations seriously; we respect the health inspector's report."
Also with some problems to clean up, Carini's La Conca d'Oro on Oakland.  Both hot and cold food on the buffet were not at a safe temperature, prepared food had no expiration dates and there was mold in an ice machine.
Keeping it clean this week - Immy's African Cuisine on Keefe near 5th Street.
Courtny Gerrish

Courtny Gerrish

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Courtny Gerrish started at TODAY'S TMJ4 on March 13, 2006. A graduate of Indiana University, Courtny first called Evanston, Illinois home.