Rampant cross-contamination at Pho Saigon 8 in Vegas

Dirty Dining visits a place where health inspectors say the cook contaminated the food, and it’s all part of a 54-demerit closure.

pho_sai_3The 54 big ones went to Pho Saigon 8 on South Eastern. The Vietnamese restaurant was guilty of multiple handwashing violations.

One was so bad that inspectors say fresh, cut, ready to eat produce and cooked chicken were contaminated by the cook, who used gloves soiled by raw beef to handle additional ingredients.

There was also no handwashing between dirty and clean dishes, between cleaning waste out of a sink and handling cooked chicken, and after picking waste up off the floor.

When they did wash their hands, it was only for a few seconds in cold water.

Inspectors also found uncovered food stored on the floor including noodles and meat, and meat thawing at room temperature on a shelf under the grill.

When Contact 13 went to the restaurant to get their side of the story, an employee told us, “I have no idea because my boss not here yet. So I have no idea.”

That’s a violation of health code. There has to be a knowledgeable person in charge present at all times to monitor and ensure food safety and proper sanitation.

Pho Saigon 8 just got in trouble for that in mid-January because the person in charge then wasn’t a certified food safety manager and couldn’t answer basic questions from inspectors about cooling, labeling, storage or handwashing.

We asked the employee to call the boss, “My boss said sorry, we can’t let you in,” and said he didn’t want to comment.

Inspectors also found food from the previous day wasn’t cooled properly, including beef and meat soup, which had to be thrown in the garbage.

Chicken sitting out at room temperature also had to be tossed.