Las Palmas hit with another round of health code violations

By Dale Shoemaker / News Editor

For the second time this summer, the Allegheny County Health Department has issued a consumer alert for Las Palmas in Oakland after the restaurant violated health codes Thursday.

Las Palmas, the Mexican grocery store and food stand located on Atwood Street, faces three high, three medium, and six low-risk food safety violations after a Health Department inspection Thursday, Aug. 20.The Health Department will re-inspect Las Palmas on Aug. 31 and may close the establishment until it is up to code again if it doesn’t pass before that date.

 Las Palmas owner Gabriel Berumen did not respond to two messages requesting comment in time for publication, and a worker at Las Palmas, which has another location in Beechview, refused to comment.

Among other violations, the Health Department found Las Palmas kept cooked chicken and beef at unsafe temperatures and found foreign food debris in a vegetable drink.

The restaurant also kept various vegetables and taco garnishes at high, unsafe temperatures in its outdoor food stand.

Other violations the Health Department found include not having soap at its back hand washing sink, storing cans of Raid insect repellant near food in the dry storage area and the presence of fruit flies near one of the preparation coolers.

In June, the Health Department found 19 instances of unsafe food storage and handling at the grocery store and food stand.

The Health Department re-inspected the store two weeks later and reported that Las Palmas corrected these violations. The Health Department put Las Palmas on Atwood Street on consumer alert before it passed the re-inspection.

Donna Scharding, the Health Department’s food safety manager, said Las Palmas’ most recent inspection was part of a “compliance check” the Health Department conducts after it issues a closure or consumer alert for a food establishment. The Health Department usually does these checks 30 days or more after an establishment comes back into compliance, Scharding said.

Now, since Las Palmas failed to pass its compliance check, Scharding said, the Health Department will set up an administrative meeting with Berumen, the owner.

“We want to make sure they’re successful,” Scharding said.

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