Dirty Dining: Hamilton County restaurants get cited for health code violations

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. – Some popular restaurants in central Indiana are facing plenty of citations from the health department due to bad conditions in their kitchens. The FOX59 Dirty Dining team continues digging through inspection records and finding the top offenders.

This time, we looked through Hamilton County violations and found restaurants that are working to clean up their acts.

La Hacienda in Carmel was cited for 13 critical and 22 non-critical violations in June, according to health department records.  FOX59 stopped by the restaurant in hopes of speaking with management. Employees said the manager was on vacation until August.

In June, the inspector found the soda nozzle heavily soiled with "possible slime mold," an employee handling a ready-to-eat tamale with bare hands, a large trash can of cooked pinto beans stored uncovered, and more.

Employees said an inspector returned in July and found no issues. But, online records do not yet list any rechecks. Reports are made public ten days after an inspection. Our cameras were not allowed into the kitchen.

Next, the Dirty Dining team visited a restaurant that caused so much excitement people camped out for its grand opening. Primanti Bros. set up shop in Noblesville in May with a perfect inspection. By June, the health department found seven critical violations and eight non-critical violations.

Issues included foods like coleslaw and checked not being date-marked, flies in the kitchen and the walk-in freezer condenser line dripping onto food boxes below.

"We have 100 new employees in there," said Jim Cowler, VP of operations for Primanti Bros. "And, you know, we went back and made sure they understood where they missed things. So yeah, we followed up right away."

Cowler said six of the seven critical violation were resolved with the inspector on-site. The called in their construction people to fix the freezer problem and added fly protection outside of the building.

"We know we have to do our end and do a great job every day," Cowler said.

A follow-up inspection in mid-July found that all critical violations at Primanti Bros. were corrected.

If you want to look at Hamilton County Health Department food inspection records, click here.

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