Two Calgary pho restaurants close due to sanitation issues

Alberta Health Services has ordered that two Vietnamese restaurants based in Calgary close after mouse droppings and food safety issues were unearthed at both restaurants.

At Pho 26, AHS inspector noted “a substantial amount of mouse droppings” throughout the restaurant, including “the kitchen area, on food containers, on counters, beside open food, in food storage areas, on and below equipment, in the bar area and in the front storage area.” On the inspection report, objects of concern also included flies in the kitchen, poor handwashing habits by staff, and a refrigerator operating above the required temperature of 4 C.

Beyond this, health inspectors found scoops without handles that were encrusted with food in bulk food bins, dirty tongs hanging from a stove handle, and dirt and food debris on numerous surfaces, including “the deep fryer, burners, ventilation canopy inserts, interior of the walk-in cooler, all shelves, food storage containers, food storage cart, and (the) ice machine.”

The second restaurant, Pho Asia, was ordered closed July 15. The inspection report listed 13 items of concern, which can be read here. The short? Dead mice on glue traps and droppings throughout the restaurant. The restaurant had no plan for pest management or pest management records. Two fridges were operating above the required 4 C, meaning high-risk foods (meats) were being stored without temperature control.

Calls to the restaurant both redirect to temporary closure messages. Both restaurants are to remain closed until the problems noted in their inspections are addressed and an inspector permits reopening.

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