Dirty Dining: Penn’s Thai House
Henderson, NV (KTNV) — As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. As Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears found out, the details proved particularly devilish for a Henderson Thai restaurant in this week’s Dirty Dining.
Hand-washing tops the to-do list at Penn’s Thai House now that Tim Moulson is in charge.
“We don’t shake hands here. How do we shake hands? Touch elbows, because hands are too important. It’s the number one cause of food-borne illness.”
The Henderson restaurant on Sunset and Gibson hired Moulson after the Health District shut them down with 52 demerits. He’s the food safety consultant who helped Firefly recover from their salmonella outbreak.
“There’s lots of little things that are habitual and that’s one of the things I try to do. I try to change the habit.”
Which can be a challenge, he said, when it comes to cultural barriers.
“What is applicable in their culture may not necessarily be applicable in the American culture, because we have designed our culture around sanitation through everything we do.”
One thing that happened here, he can’t explain.
Darcy: Why did they turn the hot water off in the men’s and women’s restroom?
Tim: I can’t answer that. I don’t know. It isn’t off now.
Penn’s was also written up for using soiled cloths to wipe down cutting boards between orders and improper hand-washing while handling raw chicken.
Darcy: That’s a danger right there.
Tim: That’s for sure. Raw chicken is famous for salmonellosis and we don’t want that to happen again.
Inspectors found bean paste that was almost three weeks old and a yellow paste past its expiration date too.
There was food from unapproved sources, like dried shrimp from Thailand and Thai apples from someone’s home.
There were also potentially hazardous foods like bean sprouts, cooked noodles and cut tomatoes in the temperature danger zone.
“Between the temperatures of 41-degrees Fahrenheit and 135-degrees Fahrenheit, that’s where microorganisms grow the most rapidly,” Moulson explained.
A special note on the report shows Penn’s has been in trouble with the Health District before.
The inspector writes, “Facility continues to show lack of active managerial control over the risk factors for food-borne illness.”
Darcy: That’s a fairly strong statement.
Tim: That’s true. One of the problems in a lot of restaurants in Nevada is that the management hasn’t gone through real food safety training.
All that has changed since bringing Moulson on board.
Under his guidance, Penn’s was quickly re-inspected and re-opened with a 3-demerit “A” grade.