Draper restaurant shut down after video posted of employee urinating in food prep area

Screen shot: Facebook/Robert Talivakaola

DRAPER, Utah, Dec. 15, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Draper restaurant has been temporarily shutdown by the Salt Lake County Health Department after a video was posted on social media showing an employee urinating in a food prep area.

The video was reportedly shot through the window of the Rancherito Restaurant located at 12250 State St.

Robert Talivakaola, the man who made the recording, told local media he was trying to catch the eye of an employee to inquire about his delinquent food order when he saw another employee relieving himself in a kitchen area.

The Salt Lake County Health Department confirmed the incident, the video of which has been seen thousands of times on Facebook after being published by Talivakaola on Sunday morning. It has since been taken down.

Nicholas Rupp, Communications Manager the Salt Lake County Health Department, said the department took action after being notified of the incident via e-mail Sunday morning.

In a prepared statement, Rupp said county health officials visited the site and “confirmed that a food handler there exhibited a willful disregard for food safety and acted inappropriately in a food preparation area. SLCoHD issued an immediate compliance order that required the establishment to close and to sanitize all preparation areas, and specifically revoked the specific employees food handler permit.”

Store managers say they are complying with the health department’s orders and the employee in question has been fired.

A review of SLCoHD’s records shows Rancherito’s has had multiple health code violations in the course of the last year, including 13 violations early in December this year, eight of which were classified as *critical.

The December violations are listed below:

  • In-use utensils are stored with handles in contact with food.
  • Food in walk-in cooler is not covered to prevent contamination.
  • Salsa is being held out of temperature control at 47 degrees on a counter on ice.
  • Beans being held at 127 degrees in the steam table. Hash browns being held out of temperature control at 110 degrees on a counter.
  • Cabinetry is not smooth, easily cleanable and non-absorbent.
  • Gaskets are damaged on refrigerator unit. The bottom shelf of the prep-table is rusty. There is a hole in the exterior wall of the walk-in. Walk-in shelves are rusty.
  • Cutting boards are scratched and scored and no longer easily cleanable.
  • There is no measurable sanitizer in the wiping cloth container. 
  • The can opener is unclean to sight and touch. A sliced onion is stored directly on a dirty shelf.
  • The interior of the microwave is unclean.
  • Fan covers in the walk-in cooler are dirty.
  • Hand sink water temperature does not reach 100 degrees within 30 seconds.
  • The 3-compartment sink faucet is leaking.
  • Areas of the floor are missing grout.
  • The mop is not hung to air dry.
  • A chemical spray bottle is stored together with food in a preparation area.
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