Mentor Mexican restaurant shut down due to ‘out of control’ health violations until July 10

Azteca Mexican Restaurant and Margarita Bar of Mentor
Azteca Mexican Restaurant and Margarita Bar of Mentor(WOIO)
Published: Jun. 30, 2023 at 6:55 PM EDT
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MENTOR, Ohio (WOIO) - The owners of Azteca Mexican Restaurant and Margarita Bar of Mentor confirmed the establishment will be shut down until July 10.

“Due to some bad judgments of the previous General Manager, we had several health violations which escalated out of control,” the owners stated. “By the time we learned about all these issues on an ownership level the damage had already been done.”

The Lake County Health Inspection report from June 22 listed these critical violations at Azteca:

  • Critical Equipment - Food-contact surfaces or utensils are unclean
    • A knife fell on the floor, then a staff member picked it up and placed it into the clean knife rack
  • Critical Repeat - Food not properly protected from contamination by separation, packaging, and segregation
    • Raw bacon was stored over cooked potatoes and chorizo in the prep cooler
    • Raw ground pork was stored above cheese in the walk in cooler
  • Critical Repeat - Time/temperature controlled for safety foods not being hot held at the proper temperature
    • Garlic in oil was at 130 degrees
  • Critical Repeat - Improper storage of poisonous or toxic materials
    • Sanitizer spray bottle was stored next to clean dishes and drink mix
  • Critical - Quaternary ammonium sanitizing solution at incorrect concentration
    • The dispenser at the three compartment sink tests at 0ppm quat.

These are the non-critical violations at Azteca listed in the June 22 Lake County Health Inspection report:

  • Repeat Improper use and/or maintenance of wiping cloths
    • Soiled wiping cloths were stored on the counter
  • Repeat In-use utensils improperly stored
    • Tongs were fully submerged in a container of jalapenos
    • A knife was stored stuck into the caulk behind the hand sink
    • Knives were stored between equipment on the cook line

The health inspector also noted the need to determine if the glazed clay cups at the bar are food safe.

The two-week shut down will be spent “fixing and controlling these issues,” according to the owners.

The owners said they have hired an “experienced General Manager with great success in the food service industry,” and will retrain the staff to “bring you the very best in Mexican cuisine.”

Azteca at 9515 Diamond Centre Dr. will reopen on July 11, the owners announced.

“We appreciate all the support we have received from the Mentor community and we look forward to serving you for many years to come,” the owners stated. “Thank you in advance for all your patience and understanding.”