Bars in Utah are subject not only to Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control inspections, but also the same health code reviews as other restaurants.
An analysis of Salt Lake County Health Department inspections by UtahsRight.com shows that bars in Midvale had the highest number of health violations on average than any other city in the county.
The six bars in Midvale that had routine inspections in 2010-11 were cited for 101 violations, an average of 16 violations each.
However, Three Alarm Saloon’s kitchen accounted for more than half of the violations. On its latest routine inspection in October 2010, the business had nine critical violations and 56 non-critical violations.
The violations included eggs being stored above ready to eat foods; no hand sinks available in the back bar; and dirty ice machines, soda gun holsters and food preparation equipment. The inspector also noted that the circular fans, drink cooler, walk-in freezer and most of the floors were dirty.
During the bar’s follow-up inspection a month later, the inspector noted 17 violations remained: two critical and 15 non-critical. The critical violations were that meat in the refrigerator lacked date marking, and sinks in the back bar area were not designated as a hand sink with a sign.
The other five bars in Midvale had an average number of 9 violations per bar, still among the highest average in the county. Oscar’s Social Club was the second most cited, with 17 violations
Cottonwood Heights’ had the second-highest violation average, at 13 per bar. The highest offender was the Huddle, with 33 violations, including raw eggs being kept above ready to eat food, a soda dispenser gun that was unclean, and interior surfaces of reach-in cooler were unclean, according its May 2011 inspection. A follow-up inspection found six violations, with only one of the violations being critical.
Hog Wallow had eight violations found during its January inspection. The eight non-critical violations included a container of food being stored on the floor of the walk-in cooler, no sanitizer test kit available, various walls damaged, and a dirty ceiling and walk-in cooler.
The health inspection data was compiled by UtahsRight.com for a weekly series in The Salt Lake Tribune’s neighborhood sections highlighting information gleaned from public databases. Restaurant inspections from Salt Lake County are available online at UtahsRight.com, along with other public information data.
Murray had an average of 10 violations per bar, according to most recent routine inspections. The city had 11 bars that received 112 violations during routine inspections. The highest offender — Fraternal Order of Eagles No. 1760 — had 35 violations on its most recent inspection, in February 2009. Those offenses included moldy cheese left in a refrigerator, raw Cornish hens being kept above lettuce, and the holster and spray nozzle of soda guns being slimy with mold.
The cities with the lowest violators, on average, were Riverton and Draper. They each had only one bar in their city, and had two and three violations, respectively.
Draper’s Donkey Tail Cantina, with three violations, had salsa out of temperature and wall surfaces that were not easily cleanable, according to their July inspection.
Riverton’s Lazy Dog Saloon had no paper towels at the bar hand sink, and no hand wash sign in the hand sink, according to their September 2010 inspection.
UtahsRight.com, the data website for The Salt Lake Tribune, conducts an ongoing statewide quest for state aid information and additional public information, including salaries of public employees, using public record requests made under the states’ Government Records Access and Management Act, also known as GRAMA.
Editor’s note: State data incorrectly listed The Huddle’s address in Midvale. It is in Cottonwood Heights. This story has been updated to reflect the change in statistics due to the inaccuracy.