TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - The Pima County health department says it had to take immediate action against a place inside of a popular shopping mall on Tucson’s northwest side.
According to a county report dated Feb. 28, a health inspector witnessed a severe and active roach infestation during a routine inspection at Famous Wok in the Tucson Premium Outlets.
In the report, the inspector said she discovered more than 30 roaches inside the paper towel dispenser after washing her hands during the visit.
She also said she saw roaches crawling on the walls, soy sauce containers and even on cutting boards.
The inspector took several photos showing what she says appears to be roach droppings throughout the Chinese food place.
The food court has a handful of places to eat, so the inspector checked with the nearest business to Famous Wok. That place showed no insect activity.
The health department said the contamination was so severe, it was time for Famous Wok to close up.
“The inspector at that point said, ‘We have a contamination. It’s throughout the establishment. We really need to close down.,’” said David Ludwig of the Pima County health department.
Inspectors returned three times over the next few days, each time not letting Famous Wok reopen because the roaches were still hanging out.
“Even when they thought it was under control, we held that imminent health hazard in place,” Ludwig said.
Finally on March 7, the inspector said the roaches were not completely gone, but the business had been thoroughly cleaned - enough to let it reopen.
“It means they took the necessary steps to meet the minimum health code requirements,” Ludwig said.
This is not the first time Famous Wok has been in hot water with the health department. Last year an inspector put the place on probation.
Famous Wok passed its follow-up inspection on Thursday, March 21, getting it out of probation status.
KOLD News 13 called to see if they wanted to comment. The person who answered the phone said a manager wasn’t available and quickly hung up.
Meanwhile, mall management approached us near the property and didn’t want to comment. We put in a formal request, but have not heard back.
Businesses can fail inspections for many reasons other than unsafe food. Below is a list of all the places that failed from March 15-21.
- Circle K, 9000 North Camino de Oeste
- Circle K, 1555 West Valencia Road
- Dry River Company, 800 North Kolb Road
- Giant, 4180 West Ina Road
- Jorge Tacos, 803 West Valencia Road
- Pinches, 1545 West San Ricardo Blvd
- Royal Sun Restaurant & Lounge, 1015 North Stone Avenue