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Facility: Taqueria El Palmar
Address: 1127 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Merced, CA

The most recent inspection of this food facility resulted in a rating of
Satisfactory (Total Points: 13.00)
0-6  Points: Good
7-13 Points: Satisfactory
14+  Points: Unsatisfactory
Rating on date 7-30-2019: Satisfactory (Total Points: 13.00)
DateViolationPointsCorrectionInspector CommentsFacility Area
7-30-2019 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.
Observed dirt, grime, and / or food particle buildup on inside of the household grade freezer/refrigerator unit.
Observed dirt, grime, and / or food particle buildup on inside of the floor sink near the mop sink.
Improve cleaning frequency and methods to ensure all equipment is kept in an appropriate state of cleanliness; ensure all equipment surfaces are smooth and easily cleanable, and all potential food contact surfaces are sanitized on a regular basis.
0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
7-30-2019 The premises of each food facility shall be kept clean and free of litter and rubbish; all clean and soiled linen shall be properly stored; non-food items shall be stored and displayed separate from food and food-contact surfaces; the facility shall be kept free of vermin. (114067 (j), 114123, 114143 (a) & (b), 114175, 114178, 114185, 114185.1, 114185.2, 114185.3, 114185.4, 114256, 114256.1, 114256.2, 114256.4, 114257, 114257.1, 114259, 114259.1, 114259.2, 114259.3, 114279, 114281, 114282) 2.00 All food facilities shall be kept clean, fully operative, and in good repair. A food facility shall at all times be so constructed, equipped, maintained, and operated as to prevent the entrance and harborage of animals, birds, and vermin, including, but not limited to, rodents and insects. The premises of each food facility shall be kept clean and free of litter, rubbish, and vermin.

Lockers or other suitable facilities shall be provided and used for the orderly storage of employee clothing and other possessions. Lockers or other suitable facilities shall be located in a designated room or area where contamination of food, equipment, utensils, linens, and single-use articles cannot occur. Dressing rooms or dressing areas shall be provided and used by employees if the employees regularly change their clothes in the facility.
Observed the old walk in unit in the back is filled with unused items and equipment. Keep all premises of a food facility, including 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. 0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
7-30-2019 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) 2.00 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 lack of thermometers in the household grade freezer/refrigerator unit.
Failure to have a readily visible thermometer affixed to the warmest part of the refrigeration unit.
Have a thermometer accurate to within 2ºF or 1ºC in each refrigeration unit, as practicable. Note that product mimicking sensors placed in devices located in the warmest part of the mechanically refrigerated unit may be approved in lieu of an ambient air sensor.
0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
7-30-2019 All potentially hazardous food shall be RAPIDLY cooled from 135°F to 70°F, within 2 hours, and then from 70°F to 41°F, within 4 hours. Cooling shall be by one or more of the methods outlined below. (114002, 114002.1) 7.00 Destroy all contaminated food. All potentially hazardous food must be rapidly cooled within the following time frames: from 135°F to 41°F or below within 6 hours and, during this time the decrease in temperature from 135°F to 70°F shall occur within the first 2 hours. Potentially hazardous food prepared from ingredients at ambient temperature shall be cooled within 4 hours to 41°F or less.

The rapid cooling of potentially hazardous foods shall be accomplished in accordance with the time and temperature criteria specified above by using one or more of the following methods based on the type of food being cooled:
(1) Placing the food in shallow pans.
(2) Separating the food into smaller or thinner portions.
(3) Using rapid cooling equipment .
(4) Using containers that facilitate heat transfer.
(5) Adding ice as an ingredient.
(6) Using ice paddles.
(7) Inserting appropriately designed containers in an ice bath and stirring frequently.
(8) In accordance with an approved HACCP plan or by other means that have been approved by the Division of Environmental Health.
Failure to cool potentially hazardous food in an approved manner.
When placed in refrigeration, containers in which a liquid or a semi-liquid food is being cooled shall be stirred as necessary to evenly cool the food.
Observed the temperature of the beans and chili Verde in the three door unit in the back were measured between 48-52 °F. Keep all cold potentially hazardous foods at or below 41°F. Adjust and / or repair this unit; do not use it for the display of PHF (potentially hazardous food) items until it is shown to consistently capable of holding food at or below 41ºF at all times. Items out of temperature by more than 10°F were voluntarily destroyed and denatured.
0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)


Rating on date 9-25-2018: Good (Total Points: 0.00)
DateViolationPointsCorrectionInspector CommentsFacility Area
9-25-2018 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. All violations from the previous inspection have been corrected. 0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)


Rating on date 8-24-2018: Satisfactory (Total Points: 12.00)
DateViolationPointsCorrectionInspector CommentsFacility Area
8-24-2018 A person proposing to build or remodel a food facility shall submit plans for approval before starting any new construction or remodeling of any facility for use as a retail food facility. (114380, 114381) 2.00 A person proposing to build or remodel a food facility shall submit complete, easily readable plans drawn to scale and specifications to the Division of Environmental Health and obtain approval prior to starting any project. Construction or remodeling of a food facility was observed without plans approved by the Division of Environmental Health.

Observed a wall, new cove base, and FRP were built. Also the door of the restroom was moved with a new arch way leading to it.
0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
8-24-2018 All food shall be separated and protected from contamination. (113984, 113986, 113988, 113990, 114060, 114067, 114069, 114077, 114079, 114089.1 (c), 114143 (c)) 2.00 Destroy all contaminated food. All food shall be prepared, stored, displayed, dispensed, placed, transported, sold, and served as to be protected from dirt, vermin, unnecessary handling, droplet contamination, overhead leakage, or other contamination.
If unpackaged food is displayed and sold in bulk in other than self-service containers, then it shall be served by an employee of the food establishment directly to a consumer and shall be displayed in clean, sanitary, and covered or otherwise protected containers.
For bulk customer self-service food items, such as salad bars, buffet type foods, and other ready-to-eat food, install sneeze guards that intercept a direct line between the customer's mouth and the food being offered, dispense from approved mechanical dispensers, or employ other effective means to protect ready-to-eat food from contamination.
Protect all cartons, boxes, or other materials used in the packaging of any food from dirt, vermin, and other forms of contamination or adulteration.
Observed food uncovered in some of the refrigeration units and a bulk dry good container. Cover.

Observed utensil that are not made for scooping sitting inside a bulk container. Provide scoops.
0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
8-24-2018 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) 2.00 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 lack of one inch minimum air gap between the drain lines under the three compartment sink and the rim height of the floor sink. Repair or modify drain lines so that the distance between the lowest edge of the drain lines and the height of the floor sink rim allows for a minimum of a one inch air gap.

Observed the faucet is leaking at the three compartment sink. Repair or replace.
0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
8-24-2018 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) 2.00 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.
Failure to provide a self-closing restroom door. Provide a self-closing device or self-closing hinges on the restroom door. 0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
8-24-2018 Each food facility shall be kept free of live animals and vermin: rodents (rats, mice), cockroaches, flies.( 114259.1, 114259.4, 114259.5) 2.00 Live animals are not allowed in a food facility, except as specified in section 114259.5.

A food facility shall immediately cease operation when there is a vermin infestation that has resulted in the contamination of food contact surfaces, food packaging, utensils, food equipment, or adulteration of food(s). The food facility shall remain closed until:
(a) there is no longer evidence of a vermin infestation.
(b) all contaminated surfaces have been cleaned and sanitized.
(c) contributing factors such as cleaning, repairs, and the elimination of harborages have been resolved.

All contributing factors must be resolved as quickly as possible. If there is a vermin infestation that warrants a major violation, then the permit to operate may be suspended. Professional pest control may also be required as frequently as needed to prevent the infestation from recurring.
Observed the large door next to the hot water heater requires weatherproofing to seal it from vermin entrance. Seal.

Observed flies inside the facility. Remove flies and prevent entrance.
0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)
8-24-2018 The walls / ceilings shall have durable, smooth, nonabsorbent, light-colored, and washable surfaces. All floor surfaces, other than the customer service areas, shall be approved, smooth, durable and made of nonabsorbent material that is easily cleanable. Approved base coving shall be provided in all areas, except customer service areas and where food is stored in original unopened containers. Food facilities shall be fully enclosed. All food facilities shall be kept clean and in good repair. (114065, 114067, 114069, 114175, 114143, 114257, 114259.2, 114266, 114268, 114268.1, 114271, 114272) 2.00 All food facilities shall be kept clean, fully operative, and in good repair. Floor surfaces in all areas in which food is prepared, packaged or stored, where any utensil is washed, where refuse or garbage is stored, where janitorial facilities are located, and in all restrooms and hand washing areas shall be smooth and of durable construction and made from non absorbent material that is easily cleanable.

Each permanent food facility shall be fully enclosed in a building consisting of permanent floors, walls, and an overhead structure that meets minimum standards. Food facilities that are not fully enclosed on all sides and that are in operation on January 1, 1985, shall not be required to meet the requirements of this section until the facility is remodeled or has a significant menu change or a change in its method of operation. Full enclosure is not required for dining areas and certain other areas when approved for outdoor food services.
Observed rubber top set installed along the new walls. This is not approved. Remove and replace with Slim Foot ceramic tile or Speedcove. Floor surfaces in all areas in which food is prepared, packaged or stored, where any utensil is washed, where refuse or garbage is stored, where janitorial facilities are located, and in all restrooms and hand washing areas shall be coved at the juncture of the floor and wall with a 3/8 inch minimum radius and shall extend up the wall at least 4 inches. 0101 FOOD ESTAB. W/FOOD PREP 0-49 SEATS (HM4)