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Facility: La Esperanza Food Center
Address: 937 W. Pacheco Blvd, Los Banos, CA

The most recent inspection of this food facility resulted in a rating of
Good (Total Points: 4.00)
0-6  Points: Good
7-13 Points: Satisfactory
14+  Points: Unsatisfactory
Rating on date 12-08-2021: Good (Total Points: 4.00)
DateViolationPointsCorrectionInspector CommentsFacility Area
12-08-2021 No violations were noted during this inspection. 0.00 This food facility currently meets California Retail Food Code requirements, and is authorized by the Merced County Division of Environmental Health to be open for business. The permit is issued to the current business owner of record and is non-transferable. No violations noted during the inspection. 0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
12-08-2021 All utensils and equipment shall be fully operative, clean, and in good repair. (114115, 114175). All utensils and equipment shall be approved, installed properly, and meet applicable standards. (114130, 114130.1, 114130.2, 114130.3, 114130.4, 114130.5, 114130.6, 114132, 114133, 114137, 114139, 114143, 114153, 114155, 114163, 114165, 114167, 114169, 114172, 114175, 114177, 114180, 114182) 1.00 Equipment food-contact surfaces and utensils shall be clean to sight and touch. The food-contact surfaces of cooking equipment and pans shall be kept free of encrusted grease deposits and other debris accumulations.

Keep all food facilities, and all utensils, display cases, windows, counters, shelves, tables, refrigeration units, sinks, dishwashing machines, and other equipment or utensils used in the storage, preparation, sale, service, and display of food, clean, fully operative, and in good repair.

The non-food-contact surfaces of equipment shall be kept free of an accumulation of dust, dirt, food residue, and other debris. Equipment shall be reassembled so that food-contact surfaces are not contaminated.
Observed the storage shelves inside the walk-in freezer are made of wood and no longer appear to be smooth, easily cleanable, and nonabsorbent. Repair/replace the wooden shelves so they are smooth, easily cleanable, and nonabsorbent.

Observed the cutting boards had been ordered and the facility is awaiting the arrival. Facility provided a receipt showing all new cutting boards were ordered.
0111 RETAIL MARKET 2001-6000 SQFT
12-08-2021 Toilet facilities shall be maintained clean, sanitary and in good repair. Toilet rooms shall be separated by a well-fitting self-closing door. Toilet tissue shall be provided in a permanently installed dispenser at each toilet. The number of toilet facilities shall be in accordance with local building and plumbing ordinances. Toilet facilities shall be provided for patrons: in establishments with more than 20,000 sq ft.; establishments offering on-site food consumption. (113953, 113953.1, 113953.2, 114250, 114250.1, 114276) 1.00 Provide clean toilet facilities in good repair. Provide permanently installed toilet tissue dispenser(s) in all toilet facilities. Provide handwashing facilities within or adjacent to all toilet facilities. Soap shall be provided in dispensers at, or adjacent to, handwashing facilities. Single-use sanitary towels in dispensers or hot-air blowers shall be provided at handwashing facilities.

Customer restrooms are required for food facilities of more than 20,000 square feet if they were constructed after July 1 1984, and also applies to facilities of any size that were constructed after January 1, 2004 where there is onsite consumption of food. A "take-out only" food facility, with no seating indoors or outdoors, may not be required to provide customer restrooms. Check with the Division of Environmental Health and with the appropriate Planning Department before removing or restricting access to customer restrooms.
observed the lack of a self-closing restroom door. Provide a self-closing device or self-closing hinges on the restroom door. 0111 RETAIL MARKET 2001-6000 SQFT
12-08-2021 Any food is misbranded if its labeling is false or misleading, if it is offered for sale under the name of another food, or if it is an imitation of another food for which a definition and standard of identity has been established by regulation. (114087, 114089, 114089.1(a, b), 114090, 114093.1, 114377) 1.00 Present all food in a way that does not mislead or misinform consumers. Food or color additives, colored overwraps, lights or other misleading artificial means shall not be used to misrepresent the true appearance, color, or quality of a food.

The label shall contain the following information:
(1) The common name of the food.
(2) A list of ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight.
(3) The weight, count, or volume.
(4) The name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor.
Nutrition labeling may also be required, and must be included when it is available from the manufacturer.

Food facility's or manufacturer's dating information, such as date codes or "use by" statements on packaging may not be concealed or altered.
Observed the lack of a proper label on the prepackaged bags of carnitas/pork skins. Provide a label with the facility name, address, ingredient list, and quantity. 0111 RETAIL MARKET 2001-6000 SQFT
12-08-2021 The potable water supply shall be protected with a backflow or back siphonage protection device, as required by applicable plumbing codes. (114192) All plumbing and plumbing fixtures shall be installed in compliance with local plumbing ordinances, shall be maintained so as to prevent any contamination, and shall be kept clean, fully operative, and in good repair. Any hose used for conveying potable water shall be of approved materials, labeled, properly stored, and used for no other purpose. (114171, 114189.1, 114190, 114192.1, 114193, 114193.1, 114195, 114197, 114199, 114201, 114269) 1.00 All plumbing and plumbing fixtures shall be installed in compliance with local plumbing ordinances, shall be maintained so as to prevent any contamination, and shall be kept clean, fully operative, and in good repair. Observed the facility did not have a key to unlock and show where the clean water is received. Obtain a spare key and keep one at the facility in case the mobile units lose their copy. 0145 COMMISSARY / OPEN FOOD PREP ALLOWED


Rating on date 11-02-2021: Unsatisfactory - reinspection required (Total Points: 30.00)
DateViolationPointsCorrectionInspector CommentsFacility Area
11-02-2021 Potentially hazardous foods shall be held at or below 41°/ 45°F or at or above 135°F. (113996, 113998, 114037, 114343(a)) 0.00 Hold potentially hazardous foods either at or above 135°F or at or below 41°F. Hold the following potentially hazardous foods at 45°F: raw shell eggs, unshucked live molluscan shellfish, pasteurized milk and pasteurized milk products in original, sealed containers. Potentially hazardous foods held for dispensing in a serving line or a salad bar (not in a display case) may be held at 45°F or less during periods not to exceed 12 hours in any 24-hour period. Discard all potentially hazardous food that has been out of an approved time and temperature range. (CDI) Observed the temperature of packaged sugar cane was measured at 50F and was stated on the package to keep below 41F. Sugar cane was moved to a different unit. Keep all potentially hazardous food items at 41F and under. 0111 RETAIL MARKET 2001-6000 SQFT
11-02-2021 Failure to keep food pure and free from contamination, adulteration and spoilage. Any food is adulterated if it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance that may render it impure or injurious to health. (113967, 113976, 113980, 113988, 113990, 114035, 114254(c), 114254.3) 3.00 Provide adequate protection at all times to keep food pure and free from contamination, adulteration and spoilage. Destroy all contaminated, adulterated and spoiled food. Observed a box of shrimp inside the walk-in meat freezer was on the ground and had been soaked with liquids from the ground and condenser unit. Items was ordered to be discarded. Keep all food at a minimum six inches off the ground and protected from contamination at all times. 0111 RETAIL MARKET 2001-6000 SQFT
11-02-2021 All utensils and equipment shall be fully operative, clean, and in good repair. (114115, 114175). All utensils and equipment shall be approved, installed properly, and meet applicable standards. (114130, 114130.1, 114130.2, 114130.3, 114130.4, 114130.5, 114130.6, 114132, 114133, 114137, 114139, 114143, 114153, 114155, 114163, 114165, 114167, 114169, 114172, 114175, 114177, 114180, 114182) 2.00 Equipment food-contact surfaces and utensils shall be clean to sight and touch. The food-contact surfaces of cooking equipment and pans shall be kept free of encrusted grease deposits and other debris accumulations.

Keep all food facilities, and all utensils, display cases, windows, counters, shelves, tables, refrigeration units, sinks, dishwashing machines, and other equipment or utensils used in the storage, preparation, sale, service, and display of food, clean, fully operative, and in good repair.

The non-food-contact surfaces of equipment shall be kept free of an accumulation of dust, dirt, food residue, and other debris. Equipment shall be reassembled so that food-contact surfaces are not contaminated.
(REPEAT VIOLATION 3) MEAT DEPARTMENT: Many cutting boards are still stained/heavily scratched and no longer have smooth and easily cleanable food contact surfaces. Manager did state they attempted to purchase replacement cutting boards from a restaurant supply location in San Jose but they were out of stock on the sizes needed, they have been doing extra cleaning and bleaching on the cutting boards in the meantime. Repair / replace all damaged and discolored cutting boards that no longer come completely clean; ensure that all food / utensil contact surfaces are smooth, easily cleanable, and nonporous.

Points for this violation already included in the FOOD ESTABLISHMENT W/FOOD PREP violation points.

Observed the walk-in fridge unit in the meat department was measured at 47F during the inspection. Have the unit evaluated and repaired so it is at 41F and under.

Observed the walk-in freezer in the meat department does not properly drain and drips onto the walk-in floor. REpair so it properly drains.

Observed the facility uses shopping carts to hold and transport meat items. Do not use shopping carts as it is not easy to clean and not meant for food items. Obtain an actual push cart for food items.
0111 RETAIL MARKET 2001-6000 SQFT
11-02-2021 Food shall be thawed under refrigeration, completely submerged under cold running water of sufficient velocity to flush loose particles, in a microwave oven, or during the cooking process. (114018, 114020, 114020.1) 1.00 Frozen potentially hazardous food shall only be thawed in one of the following ways:
(a) Under refrigeration that maintains the food temperature at 41°F or below.
(b) Completely submerged under potable running water for a period not to exceed two hours at a water temperature of 70°F or below, and with sufficient water velocity to agitate and flush off loose particles into the sink drain.
(c) In a microwave oven if immediately followed by immediate preparation.
(d) As part of a cooking process.
Observed the improper thawing of frozen tripe in the meat department area. Manager was aware of proper thawing techniques. See Corrective text for proper thawing procedures. 0111 RETAIL MARKET 2001-6000 SQFT
11-02-2021 Handwashing soap and single use towels or drying device shall be provided in dispensers adjacent to each handwashing facility; dispensers shall be maintained in good repair. (113953.2) Adequate separate facilities shall be provided for handwashing, food preparation, and the washing of utensils and equipment. (113953, 113953.1) 0.00 Handwashing facilities shall be sufficient in number and conveniently located so as to be accessible at all times for use by food employees. Employees shall not clean their hands in a sink used for food preparation, warewashing, or in a service sink or a curbed cleaning facility used for the disposal of mop water and similar liquid waste. Do not place objects in front of the handwashing station, and do not place items, utensils or wiping cloths in the handwashing sink.

Handwashing facilities shall be equipped to provide warm water under pressure for a minimum of 15 seconds. If the temperature of water provided is not readily adjustable at the faucet, the temperature of the water shall be at least 100°F, but not greater than 108°F. Soap shall be provided in approved dispensers at, or adjacent to, handwashing facilities (no bars of soap). Single-use sanitary towels or hot-air blowers shall be provided at handwashing facilities in approved dispensing devices.
Observed the lack of a designated hand wash sink in the meat department. Provide a mounted soap and paper towel dispenser at a designated hand wash sink that is not the food prep sink. 0111 RETAIL MARKET 2001-6000 SQFT
11-02-2021 Wiping cloths used to wipe service counters, scales or other surfaces that may come into contact with food shall be used only once unless kept in clean water with sanitizer. (114135, 114185, 114185.1, 11485.2, 114185.3) 1.00 Cloths used to wipe service counters, scales, and other surfaces that may directly or indirectly contact food shall be used only once until laundered or may be used repeatedly if held in a sanitizing solution, as described below. Cloths used with raw foods of animal origin shall be used only once until laundered or may be used repeatedly if kept in a separate container of sanitizing solution, as described below:
(1) Contact with a solution of 100 ppm available chlorine solution for at least 30 seconds.
(2) Contact with a solution of 25 ppm available iodine for at least one minute.
(3) Contact with a solution of 200 ppm quaternary ammonium for at least one minute.
(4) Contact with any chemical sanitizer that meets the requirements of Section 180.940 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations when used in accordance with the manufacturer's use directions.
Observed numerous wiping cloths left on the counters throughout the facility. Keep all wiping cloths in sanitizer solution if using more than once and not in use. Towels were either discarded or moved to a sanitizer solution during the inspection. 0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
11-02-2021 An accurate easily readable metal probe thermometer suitable for measuring temperature of food shall be available to the food handler. A thermometer +/- 2°F shall be provided for each hot and cold holding unit of potentially hazardous foods and high temperature warewashing machines. (114157, 114159) 1.00 Have a thermometer accurate to within 2°F or 1°C in each hot and cold holding unit. Have a metal probe type thermometer readily available on premises (to all appropriate staff) that is calibrated in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications as necessary to ensure accuracy. Observed the lack of a functioning probe thermometer in the food prep and meat department. Provide a probe thermometer in all areas where food is prepared. 0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
11-02-2021 Food employees shall keep their hands and exposed portions of their arms clean, and shall maaintain fingernails so they are cleanable. Employees are required to wash their hands: before beginning work; before handling food / equipment / utensils; as often as necessary during food preparation to remove soil and contamination; when switching from working with raw to ready-to-eat foods; after touching body parts; after using the toilet room; or any time when contamination may occur. (113952, 113953.3, 113968, 113973 (a-g). Whenever gloves are worn, they shall be changed as often as handwashing is required. 7.00 The food employee shall wash their hands and portion of arms as required, and use utensils and gloves appropriately. Observed employees were not washing their hands prior to wearing gloves, or replacing gloves. Hands must be washed prior to wearing gloves or replacing gloves. Hands must also be washed when switching tasks between food items, or between handling food and handling other items. Educated manager and informed him of proper hand washing and frequency. 0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
11-02-2021 Potentially hazardous foods shall be held at or below 41°/ 45°F or at or above 135°F. (113996, 113998, 114037, 114343(a)) 7.00 Hold potentially hazardous foods either at or above 135°F or at or below 41°F. Hold the following potentially hazardous foods at 45°F: raw shell eggs, unshucked live molluscan shellfish, pasteurized milk and pasteurized milk products in original, sealed containers. Potentially hazardous foods held for dispensing in a serving line or a salad bar (not in a display case) may be held at 45°F or less during periods not to exceed 12 hours in any 24-hour period. Discard all potentially hazardous food that has been out of an approved time and temperature range. Observed five trays of different meats were siting on top of the grill that was off. Food items were not under temperature control and the facility was trying to use the grill has a hot holding unit. All food items measured at 100F - 120F. All items out of temperature range by 10F or more was discarded. All hot food items must be kept in an approved hot holding unit. Discontinue practice.

Observed chicken fajitas, carnitas, and cabeza in the hot holding unit was measured between 100F - 135F during the inspection. All food items out of temperature range by 10F or more was discarded. All hot food items must be kept at a minimum of 135F. All hot food items must be heated to 165F prior to placing in hot holding unit.
0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
11-02-2021 Food facilities that prepare food shall be equipped with warewashing facilities. Testing equipment and materials shall be provided to measure the applicable sanitization method. (114067(f,g), 114099, 114099.1, 114099.2, 114099.3, 114099.4, 114099.5, 114099.6, 114099.7, 114101, 114101.1, 114101.2, 114103, 114107, 114125) 1.00 Provide a sink with at least 3 compartments with 2 integral metal drainboards. The sink compartments and drainage facilities shall be large enough to accommodate the largest utensil or piece of equipment to be cleaned therein.

Clean the utensils in one of the following ways:

(1) Manual warewashing shall be accomplished by using a 3-compartment sink where the utensils are first pre-cleaned, then washed, rinsed, sanitized, and air dried. The temperature of the washing solution shall be maintained at not less than 100°F or the temperature specified on the cleaning agent manufacturer's label instructions. The utensils shall then be rinsed in clear water before being immersed in a sanitizing solution. Manual sanitization shall be accomplished in the final sanitizing rinse by one of the following:
(a) Immersion for at least 30 seconds where the water temperature is maintained at 171°F or above.
(b) The application of sanitizing chemicals by immersion, manual swabbing, or brushing, using one of the following solutions:
(1) Contact with a solution of 100 ppm available chlorine solution for at least 30 seconds.
(2) Contact with a solution of 25 ppm available iodine for at least one minute.
(3) Contact with a solution of 200 ppm quaternary ammonium for at least one minute.
(4) Contact with a solution of ozone that meets the requirements of Section 180.940 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations and that is generated by a device located onsite at the food facility that meets all of the requirements of 114099.6.
(c) Other methods approved by the enforcement agency.

(2) Mechanical machine warewashing shall be accomplished by using an approved machine installed and operated in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. Soiled items to be cleaned in a warewashing machine shall be loaded in racks, trays, or baskets or onto conveyors in a position that exposes the items to the unobstructed spray during all cycles and allows the items to drain. Mechanical sanitization shall be accomplished in the final sanitizing rinse by one of the following:
(a) By being cycled through equipment achieving a utensil surface temperature of 160°F or above.
(b) The mechanical application of sanitizing chemicals by pressure spraying methods using one of the following:
(1) Contact with a solution of 50 ppm available chlorine solution for at least 30 seconds.
(2) Contact with a solution of 25 ppm available iodine for at least one minute.
(3) Contact with any chemical sanitizer that meets the requirements of Section 180.940 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations when used in accordance with both the sanitizer manufacturers use directions and the machine manufacturer's specifications.

Provide testing equipment and materials to adequately measure the applicable sanitization method.
Observed lack of chlorine test strips to measure the applicable manual sanitizer concentration. Obtain and use test strips to verify sanitizer is of sufficient strength to act as an appropriate manual sanitizing agent (100 ppm for chlorine, 200 ppm for quat ammonia). 0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
11-02-2021 All utensils and equipment shall be fully operative, clean, and in good repair. (114115, 114175). All utensils and equipment shall be approved, installed properly, and meet applicable standards. (114130, 114130.1, 114130.2, 114130.3, 114130.4, 114130.5, 114130.6, 114132, 114133, 114137, 114139, 114143, 114153, 114155, 114163, 114165, 114167, 114169, 114172, 114175, 114177, 114180, 114182) 2.00 Equipment food-contact surfaces and utensils shall be clean to sight and touch. The food-contact surfaces of cooking equipment and pans shall be kept free of encrusted grease deposits and other debris accumulations.

Keep all food facilities, and all utensils, display cases, windows, counters, shelves, tables, refrigeration units, sinks, dishwashing machines, and other equipment or utensils used in the storage, preparation, sale, service, and display of food, clean, fully operative, and in good repair.

The non-food-contact surfaces of equipment shall be kept free of an accumulation of dust, dirt, food residue, and other debris. Equipment shall be reassembled so that food-contact surfaces are not contaminated.
(REPEAT VIOLATION 3) TAQUERIA 2-DOOR PREP REFRIGERATOR: Observed temperatures in this unit ranging from 48-58 F in both the lower and upper portions. Repair unit to keep cold potentially hazardous food at or below 41 F at all times. Items had been recently 'reset' after lunch rush, out less than one hour, moved to alternate refrigeration unit. DO NOT USE this unit until replaced or repaired and shown to **consistently** be capable of holding food at or below 41 degrees at all times. DO NOT use ice in lieu of repairing this unit. An accurate thermometer in all refrigeration units is important.

Observed a counter top deep fryer was in use at the facility and was not under the hood. Remove the counter top deep fryer or use under the hood.

Observed the ice cream prep fridge unit in the Ice cream department was measured at 47F during the inspection. Have the unit evaluated and repaired so it is at 41F and under.
0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
11-02-2021 Handwashing soap and single use towels or drying device shall be provided in dispensers adjacent to each handwashing facility; dispensers shall be maintained in good repair. (113953.2) Adequate separate facilities shall be provided for handwashing, food preparation, and the washing of utensils and equipment. (113953, 113953.1) 3.00 Handwashing facilities shall be sufficient in number and conveniently located so as to be accessible at all times for use by food employees. Employees shall not clean their hands in a sink used for food preparation, warewashing, or in a service sink or a curbed cleaning facility used for the disposal of mop water and similar liquid waste. Do not place objects in front of the handwashing station, and do not place items, utensils or wiping cloths in the handwashing sink.

Handwashing facilities shall be equipped to provide warm water under pressure for a minimum of 15 seconds. If the temperature of water provided is not readily adjustable at the faucet, the temperature of the water shall be at least 100°F, but not greater than 108°F. Soap shall be provided in approved dispensers at, or adjacent to, handwashing facilities (no bars of soap). Single-use sanitary towels or hot-air blowers shall be provided at handwashing facilities in approved dispensing devices.
Observed the lack of hot water and paper towels at the designated hand wash sink in the food prep area. Provide hot water and paper towels in the mounted dispenser for proper hand washing at all times.
0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
11-02-2021 Additional information provided to facility operators 2.00 Excerpts from California Health and Safety Code, Division 104 (Environmental Health), Part 7 (California Retail Food Code), sections 113700 through 114437. 0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
11-02-2021 No violations were noted during this inspection. 0.00 This food facility currently meets California Retail Food Code requirements, and is authorized by the Merced County Division of Environmental Health to be open for business. The permit is issued to the current business owner of record and is non-transferable. No separate violations noted in the COMMISSARY / OPEN FOOD PREP ALLOWED area of the facility. 0145 COMMISSARY / OPEN FOOD PREP ALLOWED