Only the Food Patrol is digging through health inspections to uncover shameful violations in Rio Grande Valley kitchens.
The worst this week according to reports: a supermarket busted with rain water that's falling onto a food prep table and a tortilleria warned about not reusing the same salsa for customers.
Those who spend money at the businesses in question aren't happy to hear about the violations.
"That's a shame," said one man.
"That's gross," said another.
Belinda Arizmendi is downright shocked!
"Oh my goodness," she said. "Let me return my groceries!"
Lopez Food Store on 278 McDavitt Boulevard in Brownsville scores 24 demerits on a March 21st city checkup.
It's not just the cross-contamination concern with the rain water on a prep table either.
Inspector photos show a hole in the ceiling and moldy looking marks all around it.
Things aren't much cleaner-looking on the floor with blood and black liquid-like substances.
Other photos show improper thawing of chicken.
There also pics of dirty equipment.
The Food Patrol wants to see if things have been cleaned up.
But management isn't around.
Workers do claim things are okay.
Belinda isn't so sure anymore.
"I'm glad that you all are out here," she said outside the store. "Channel 4 news! Ryan Wolf here tomake sure we eat healthy food. Thank you."
La Frontera Tortilleria Factory and Grocery on 1302 East 14th Street in Brownsville isn't keeping it clean with 35 demerits on an April 3rd checkup.
The business is the dirtiest this week.
Health report violations are documented with photos.
An inspector notes unsettling finds like raw meat left outside since the day before, mold on the walls, potson the floor, uncovered raw meats next to other food and dirty equipment.
But the Food Patrol isn't at the tortilleria to question those violations.
It's the inspector note that specifically states "cannot be reusing same salsa for customers" that's raising a red flag.The Food Patrol asks for management.
Unfortunately, there isn't a manager around.
The health department will be back.
This week's featured top performer with 0 demerits is Applebee's on 1519 West Harrison in Harlingen.
The staff proves they know how to keep it clean.
Look for the new top performer sticker on the door.
Manager Michael Ortiz says it represents this: "That we take pride in everything that we do. Quality ismost important. Of course we care about what are guests do because we're here for them. Weappreciated being honored for it."
You know what the Food Patrol says to that--"Keep it clean!"
Weekly Low Performer List: (total # of demerits)
BrownsvilleLa Frontera Tortilleria/Grocery 1302 E 14th (35) *Warned not to reuse salsa/Uncovered Raw Meat*Lopez Food 278 McDavitt (24) *Rain Water Falling on Prep Table/Boxed Raw Meat Left Out for Extended Time*
Weekly Top Performer List: (0 demerits)
HarlingenApplebee TMs 1519 W Harrison
BrownsvilleLa Cantera 1800 N Exp 77KFC 2701 Boca ChicaMi Torito 535 E JacksonSubway 2384 E Price