Pupuseria Dona Azucena, 8764 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309 - Fast Food Restaurant inspection findings and violations



Business Info

Restaurant: Pupuseria Dona Azucena
Address: 8764 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309
Type: Fast Food Restaurant
Phone: 703 792-0140
Total inspections: 6
Last inspection: 02/09/2016

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Inspection findings

Inspection date

Type

Facility has greatly improved food safety procedures relative to previous inspections. Ice baths are now being properly used for cold holding and cooling. EHS also observed ice used as an ingredient to cool foods. No food temperature violations were observed during this inspection, and general cleanliness of kitchen is commendable. Facility has greatly improved safe storage of raw animal products.
Thank you for correcting and adjusting procedures to ensure food safety. No violations were observed during this Risk Factor Assessment.

No violation noted during this evaluation.
02/09/2016Risk Factor
Kitchen was observed generally clean and well organized. Please exercise active managerial control of food safety by training employees in food safety, and monitoring their performance, as described above. Thank you for accompanying the EHS during the inspection, and promptly communicating corrective actions to employees.
EHS provided Employee Health Policy Documents in Spanish, handout regarding cooling methods, and diagrams illustrating proper use of ice baths.

  • Duties / Train Employees in Food Safety
    Observation: Employees are not properly trained in food safety as it relates to their assigned duties.
    Correction: The Person in Charge or certified food manager shall train all his/her employees in food safety as it relates to their assigned duties. Train employees in proper date marking of prepared foods, proper use of ice baths for cold holding, and thier responsibility to report symptoms/diagnosis/exposures of/to foodborne illnesses. EHS provided training to the PIC and some employees about these topics during the inspection. Active managerial control suggestions to control these issues include routine monitoring of date marking, temperature logs of cold foods in ice baths, and reviewing the employee health policy documents provided.
  • Critical: Responsibility of PIC to Require Food Employees to Report GI Symptoms or Cuts, Disease, Medical Condition or Exposure to PIC (corrected on site) (repeated violation)
    Observation: Upon discussion with the person-in-charge, one or more of the elements of an effective employee health policy is either missing or incomplete. A complete employee health policy is required to be in place at the food establishment. Employees were not aware of requirement to report to the PIC symptoms, diagnoses, and exposures to food-transmissable illnesses.
    Correction: A complete employee health policy must have the following elements:
    1) Employee training on foodborne illness, particularly symptoms of illness and prevention of the Big Five illnesses (see "What is Foodborne Illness" handout)
  • Critical: Food Protection from Contamination / Package, Cover, Wrap (corrected on site)
    Observation: A large container of coleslaw on a milk crate and a large pot of cooling food on the floor were observed uncovered in high traffic areas of the kitchen.
    Correction: Foods shall be protected from contamination by being stored in packages, covered containers or wrappings. Foods that are cooling may be uncovered, but must be stored in a location to prevent contamination. Foods were covered.
  • Utensils That are In-Use / Between-Use Storage
    Observation: Dispensing and/or in-use utensils improperly stored between use as follows: several foods in cluding pupusa fillings and cole slaw were observed with the handles of dispensing utensils stored in contact with foods. Proper glove use was observed
    Correction: risk of contamination of ready to eat foods by hands is minimal.
  • Wiping Cloths/Use Limitation/Wet Towel Storage
    Observation: Wet wiping cloths used for wiping counters and other equipment surfaces were observed stored on the counter.
    Correction: Wet wiping cloths are to be used for wiping counters and other equipment surfaces and are to be held in a chemical sanitizer solution at the appropriate concentration between uses.
  • Sanitize Solution Used for Wiping Cloths Stored off Floor, Prevent Contamination of Food & Equipment
    Observation: Wet wiping cloth buckets improperly stored on floor.
    Correction: Wet wiping cloth buckets containing chemical sanitizing solutions shall not be stored on the floor. The wet towel buckets shall also be used in a manner that prevents contamination of food, equipment, utensils, linens, and single service items.
  • Food Storage / Prohibited Areas / Other Sources (repeated violation)
    Observation: Dry goods in commercial packages and recently received whole lettuce in plastic bags were stored on the floor in a walkway accessible to customers.
    Correction: Store foods at least 6" above the floor on approved shelves or racks, and in areas away from customers.
  • Critical: Cold Holding of Potentially Hazardous Food at 41°F or less (corrected on site) (repeated violation)
    Observation: The following food item(s) were observed cold holding at improper temperatures using a calibrated food temperature measuring device: Tomato sauce (47 F), several pupusa fillings with meats and cheeses (Temperature range: 62 to 44 F). Foods were stored in improperly prepared ice baths. EHS demonstrated temperature difference between food in the top of the containers and the food in the bottom of the containers (nearer to the ice water). No foods were observed improperly cold holding inside refrigeration equipment.
    Correction: Potentially hazardous foods (time/temperature control for safety food) shall be held cold at a temperature of 41°F or below unless the permit holder is using "time as public health control" as specified under 3-501.19 to limit bacteria growth. EHS provided training to PIC on the proper preparation and use of ice baths for cold holding of foods. PIC relayed this information to employees who began correcting the ice baths. Remember that the level of the ice water needs to be at least even with the level of the food inside containers.
  • Critical: Date Marking of Refrigerated, Ready-to-Eat PHF (TCS Food) (corrected on site)
    Observation: Salsa, tamales, and coleslaw (among other prepared foods) in the walk-in refrigerator were observed with date markings indicating the food should have been discarded. Upon discussion with the PIC and cooks, it was determined that some employees were marking foods with the date of preparation, and some employees were marking foods with the serve by / discard date.
    Correction: A uniform date marking system is needed to ensure potentially unsafe foods are not served. PIC and cooks corrected date marking on foods, as needed. PIC agreed to review and standardize date marking procedures with his employees.
  • Handwashing Sink / Used for Hand Wash Only (corrected on site)
    Observation: Soiled utensils were stored in the handsink in the food prep area.
    Correction: Handsinks are to be used only for washing hands to encourage proper hand washing and to prevent contamination of cleaned hands. Utensils were removed, PIC was reminded that handsinks are for handwashing only.
  • Mops in Air-dry Position (repeated violation)
    Observation: Observed that mops are improperly stored between use.
    Correction: Store mops in a position that allows them to air dry without soiling walls, equipment, or supplies.
11/06/2015Routine
Thank you for accompanying the EHS during the inspection to answer questions and promptly correct violative conditions. Please maintain copies of the signed employee health forms in the establishment. Please monitor the temperatures of foods stored on ice - potentially hazardous foods must be maintained at 41 F or colder. Adding additional ice and water to the ice baths may help maintain foods at colder temperatures.
  • Critical: Food Protection from Contamination / Separate Types of Raw Animal Foods (corrected on site)
    Observation: Different types of raw animal foods stored in such a manner that may cause cross contamination as follows: Beef sausage stored above raw fish in walk-in refrigerator.
    Correction: Raw animal foods shall be sorted by their "type" and cooking temperatures while in storage inside a refrigerator or freezer. For example, if using ONE shelving unit for storage of ONLY raw foods, the foods shall be sorted in this manner: 1) raw poultry (chicken, turkey, or duck) shall be stored on the BOTTOM shelf (165°F cook temperature), 2) raw ground beef and ground pork shall be stored on the shelf above poultry (155°F cook temperature), and 3) raw pork (chops, ribs), seafood, and shell eggs shall be stored on the top shelf above beef (145°F cook temperature). FOODS WERE RELOCATED.
  • Critical: Hot Holding of Potentially Hazardous Foods at 135°F or More (corrected on site)
    Observation: The following food item(s) were found hot holding at improper temperatures using a calibrated food temperature measuring device: Cooked plantains and cooked juca in uncovered hot holding tray.
    Correction: Potentially hazardous foods (time/temperature control for safety food) shall be hot held at a temperature of 135°F or above unless the permit holder is using "time as public health control" as specified under 3-501.19. TRAY WAS COVERED TO PERMIT PROPER HOT HOLDING.
  • Critical: Cold Holding of Potentially Hazardous Food at 41°F or less (corrected on site) (repeated violation)
    Observation: The following food item(s) were observed cold holding at improper temperatures using a calibrated food temperature measuring device: creamers marked "Keep Refrigerated" (45 F), salsa on ice (44 F), cooked rice in two door upright refrigerator (58 F).
    Correction: Potentially hazardous foods (time/temperature control for safety food) shall be held cold at a temperature of 41°F or below unless the permit holder is using "time as public health control" as specified under 3-501.19 to limit bacteria growth. CREAMERS RELOCATED TO WALK IN REFRIGERATOR. ICE AND WATER ADDED TO ICE BATH FOR SALSA. RICE DISCARDED.
  • Critical: Consumer Advisory, Disclosure Provided (corrected on site)
    Observation: The raw and/or undercooked foods on the menu (sopa de mariscos and sopa de camarones) did not have a disclosure statement
    Correction: The Consumer Advisory shall include a disclosure statement that includes a description of the animal-derived foods as raw/undercooked or identification of the animal-derived foods by asterisking (*) them to a footnote that states that the items are served raw or undercooked, or contain raw or undercooked ingredients. MENUS WERE APPROPRIATELY MARKED.
  • Critical: Equipment / Food-Contact / Visibly Clean (corrected on site)
    Observation: The following equipment/utensils were observed soiled to sight and touch: food storage trays, slicer, and horchata dispenser.
    Correction: Equipment food-contact surfaces and utensils shall be clean to the sight and touch. A surface that is soiled cannot be effectively sanitized. EQUIPMENT WAS CLEANED AND SANITIZED IN THREE VAT SINK.
  • Nonfood-Contact Surfaces Clean at Frequency to Preclude Accumulation (corrected on site)
    Observation: The nonfood-contact surfaces of the following equipment had accumulations of grime and debris: can opener, outsides of food trays
    Correction: Nonfood-contact surfaces of equipment and utensils shall be cleaned at a frequency necessary to preclude accumulation of soil residues. EQUIPMENT WAS WASHED.
  • Refuse / Cover Receptacles / Outdoors / Tight-Fitting Lids (corrected on site)
    Observation: Outside refuse container was uncovered.
    Correction: Receptacles and waste handling units for refuse, recyclables, and returnables shall be kept covered with tight fitting lids or doors if kept outside the food establishment.
  • Physical Facilities Good Repair
    Observation: Observed that the rear door is not maintained in good repair: handle is missing and door badly warped and dented.
    Correction: Repair the physical facilities. Poor repair and maintenance compromises the functionality of the physical facilities. WARPED/POOR FITTING BACK DOOR MAY PROVIDE ENTRY POINT FOR RODENTS AND OTHER PESTS.
  • Mops in Air-dry Position
    Observation: Observed that mops are improperly stored between use.
    Correction: Store mops in a position that allows them to air dry without soiling walls, equipment, or supplies.
01/30/2015Routine
This is a follow-up inspection to routine inspection performed on July 10, 2014.
**Please fax and provide a copy of Employee Health Policy by August 7, 2014.
**Please email a copy of corrected take-out menu by August 7, 2014.
*Please implement Time as Public Health Policy on pupusa fillers on table.

  • Critical: Responsibility of PIC to Require Food Employees to Report GI Symptoms or Cuts, Disease, Medical Condition or Exposure to PIC (repeated violation)
    Observation: Upon discussion with the person-in-charge, one or more of the elements of an effective employee health policy is either missing or incomplete. A complete employee health policy is required to be in place at the food establishment. At the time of this inspection, the Health Department provided and reviewed handouts and resource information in a red folder labeled "Employee Health Policy.
    Correction: A complete employee health policy must have the following elements:
    1) Employee training on foodborne illness, particularly symptoms of illness and prevention of the Big Five illnesses (see "What is Foodborne Illness" handout)
  • Critical: Cold Holding of Potentially Hazardous Food at 41°F or less (corrected on site) (repeated violation)
    Observation: The following food item(s) were observed cold holding at improper temperatures using a calibrated food temperature measuring device: pupusa fillers (cheese and pork mix - 45F, cheese and zucchini - 48F, cheese - 47F, cooked red beans - 46F).
    Correction: Potentially hazardous foods (time/temperature control for safety food) shall be held cold at a temperature of 41°F or below unless the permit holder is using "time as public health control" as specified under 3-501.19 to limit bacteria growth. Foods were moved to freezer to cool down since they were out for 45minutes. Discussed with owner need for time and possibly more permanent solution such as a table top cooler.
  • Permit to Operate Required, Must be Posted, Must be Valid (corrected on site) (repeated violation)
    Observation: The establishment has not posted the permit to operate in a conspicuous location.
    Correction: No person shall operate a food establishment unless that person possesses a valid permit issued by the Director. Only a person who complies with the requirements of this Chapter shall be entitled to receive or retain such a permit. Permits are not transferable from one owner to another. A valid permit shall be posted in every food establishment in a conspicuous place in the public view. Food establishment permits are issued for a calendar year and expire on December 31 regardless of the month of issue. Posted.
07/24/2014Follow-up
Today’s inspection was to conduct a routine inspection. Thank you for accompanying me through the inspection as your participation allows me to clarify information and identify areas where your processes may need further attention or assessment.
Time as Public Health Control: was implemented for pupusa fillings that are placed on counter.
EHS provided additional training and written instructions on:
-Employee Health policy
-Time as Public Health Control
-how to make chlorine sanitizer solution
*Please avoid repeated violations.
*EHS recommends since this is Pupuseria and pupusas is made all through the day, not just during lunch hours, to obtain more permanent solution to keep potentially hazardous foods (cheese, cooked meat, cooked vegetables) in proper cold holding temperatures by obtaining refrigeration for these items.
**EHS will perform a follow-up on or about July 24, 2014 to confirm correction of following items:
-posting of new permit
-Employee Health Policy
-Consumer advisory for steak on menu
-Implementation of Time as Public Health Control for pupusa fillers on counter.
It has been a pleasure to serve you today. If you have any questions or concerns, please free to call 703-246-2444. Thank you.

  • Critical: Responsibility of PIC to Require Food Employees to Report GI Symptoms or Cuts, Disease, Medical Condition or Exposure to PIC
    Observation: Upon discussion with the person-in-charge, one or more of the elements of an effective employee health policy is either missing or incomplete. A complete employee health policy is required to be in place at the food establishment. At the time of this inspection, the Health Department provided and reviewed handouts and resource information in a red folder labeled "Employee Health Policy.
    Correction: A complete employee health policy must have the following elements:
    1) Employee training on foodborne illness, particularly symptoms of illness and prevention of the Big Five illnesses (see "What is Foodborne Illness" handout)
  • Critical: Food Protection from Contamination / Separate Raw from RTE (corrected on site)
    Observation: Raw animal food holding in a manner that may cause cross contamination of ready-to-eat food as follows: raw chicken and raw beef over mozzarella cheese in walk-in cooler.
    Correction: Food shall be protected from cross contamination by separating raw animal foods like poultry, beef, pork, seafood, and eggs during holding from ALL other foods such as cooked foods, ready-to-eat foods, washed produce, etc.
  • Food Storage / Prohibited Areas / Other Sources
    Observation: Food storage under other sources of contamination: in customer walk way.
    Correction: Food may not be stored under other sources of contamination.
  • Critical: Cold Holding of Potentially Hazardous Food at 41°F or less (corrected on site)
    Observation: The following food item(s) were observed cold holding at improper temperatures using a calibrated food temperature measuring device: Pupusa fillings on counter: mozzarella cheese (60F), pork and cheese mix (63F), cooked red beans (50F), zucchini and cheese mix (66F).
    Correction: Potentially hazardous foods (time/temperature control for safety food) shall be held cold at a temperature of 41°F or below unless the permit holder is using "time as public health control" as specified under 3-501.19 to limit bacteria growth. Discarded. New batch placed in ice with Time as Public Health Control.
  • Critical: Consumer Advisory Required for Raw or Undercooked Animal Food
    Observation: A review of the menu with the foodservice operator indicates that there is no consumer advisory for the following food item(s) that may be served raw and/or undercooked: steak.
    Correction: If an animal food such as beef, eggs, fish, lamb, milk, pork, poultry, or shellfish is served or sold raw or undercooked the permit holder shall inform consumers of the significantly increased risk of consuming such foods by way of a disclosure and reminder using brochures, deli case or menu advisories, label statements, table tents, placards, or other effective written means. Manager will hand correct the menu.
  • Permit to Operate Required, Must be Posted, Must be Valid
    Observation: The establishment has not posted the permit to operate in a conspicuous location.
    Correction: No person shall operate a food establishment unless that person possesses a valid permit issued by the Director. Only a person who complies with the requirements of this Chapter shall be entitled to receive or retain such a permit. Permits are not transferable from one owner to another. A valid permit shall be posted in every food establishment in a conspicuous place in the public view. Food establishment permits are issued for a calendar year and expire on December 31 regardless of the month of issue.
  • Handwashing Signage at Handwashing Facilities Required (corrected on site)
    Observation: Observed that sign or poster that notifies food employees to wash their hands is not provided at all handwashing sinks used by food employees: hand sink by 3-vat and women's restroom.
    Correction: Provide a sign or poster at all handwashing sinks used by food employees that reminds food employees to wash their hands.
07/10/2014Routine
PEROPERATIONAL FINAL INSPECTION
*Approval for a Health Department Permit is hereby granted. This inspection report shall serve as your permit until official permit is delivered to you. No equipment changes/replacements/additions are allowed without approval by Health Department.

No violation noted during this evaluation.
05/13/2014Pre-Opening

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