More Mpls. eateries with code woes

  • Article by: JANE FRIEDMANN
  • July 16, 2011 - 6:12 PM

The city of Minneapolis inspected 664 eateries during the three-month period ending in May, down from 771 in the three months before that.

I reviewed 804 inspection reports to identify the 10 businesses with the highest number of new or unabated critical violations during that time.

Critical violations are deemed most likely to cause food-borne illness. Asterisks indicate those violations that were still present at a reinspection within the three-month period.

1 Uruba Restaurant, 1812 Nicollet Av., 11 critical violations, 47 total

Employee food or drink found on or near food.* Food in fryer basket overnight. Eggs, juice too warm in cooler. No illness log available.*

First reinspection: Person in charge not knowledgeable.* No soap at sinks. Hot food held as low as 61 degrees.

The restaurant is now subject to quarterly inspections after failing to follow a compliance plan Uruba reached with the city in May. A city inspector said that Uruba "must show great improvement in order to maintain their license."

2 Mercadito Mi Axochiapan, 3748 Cedar Av. S., 10 critical, 17 total

Person in charge not knowledgeable. Soap dispenser clogged. Some food cooked in residential kitchen. No receipts for some food. Meat slicer located on raw-meat cutting table. Drinks, produce and milk found in raw-meat cooler. Dishes not sanitized. Food not date-marked. Unlabeled spray bottles. No illness log on site.

3 Karmel Coffee, 2940 Pillsbury Av. S., #100, 9 critical, 19 total

Employee beverage in prep area. Food prep done in room without hand sink. Bread made in residential kitchen. Receipts unavailable for some items. Raw meat stored next to cooked vegetables. Interior of coolers dirty. Improper dish-washing procedures. Hot food held as low as 102 degrees. No illness log on site.

4 1st Cup Café, 2740 Minnehaha Av., #180, 8 critical, 24 total

Person in charge not knowledgeable. Raw meat stored above cooked food. Smoothie machine damaged and dirty. Cooked beef on counter was 74 degrees, milk was 45 degrees. Hot holding unit set too low.

5 Herkimer Pub & Brewery, 2922 Lyndale Av. S., 8 critical, 18 total

Bar workers not washing hands. Ice machine needed cleaning. Cooler too warm. Expired food.* Food not date marked.*

6 Sovereign Grounds, 813 E. 48th St., 8 critical, 17 total

Person in charge not knowledgeable. Employee picked up muffin without using tongs or washing hands. No invoice for tamales made off-site. Improper dish washing procedures. Deli meat, cheese as warm as 49 degrees. Food not date-marked.

7 Fire N Ice, 2220 W. Broadway, 7 critical, 16 total (reinspect had 0 violations)

Employee beverages in wrong container. Raw meat stored above cooked food. Utensils not sanitized. Fridge dirty. Cold food too warm. Food not date-marked. Unlabeled sprays.

8 Andrea Pizza, 330 2nd Av. S., 7 critical, 14 total

No sanitizer used. Cooked food at improper temperature.* No written plan for disposal of food held at room temperature.* Employee beverage in food prep area.

9 Sambuza Grill, 1424 Nicollet Av., 6 critical violations, 43 total

Person in charge not knowledgeable.* Proper hand and dish washing not taking place. Food contact surfaces dirty. No illness log on site.

10 Cup Foods, 3759 Chicago Av. S., 6 critical violations, 23 total

Food washed in dish sink. Dishes not sanitized. Hot food too cool, cold food too warm. Food not date-marked. Unlabeled spray bottles.

As of last week, all critical violations found in March, April and May at Karmel, Herkimer, Sovereign Grounds, Fire N Ice and Andrea Pizza had been corrected.

Later inspections show that Mercadito, 1st Cup Cafe, Sambuza Grill and Cup Foods have reduced their critical violations.

Hard Data digs into public records and puts a spotlight on rule breakers in Minnesota. Contact me at

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