SANDY — Salt Lake Health Department officials closed a Mexican food restaurant Wednesday, citing several dozen health code violations “presenting an imminent health hazard.”
La Frontera Cafe, located at 61 W. 10600 South, was closed after a health inspection, according to a report by the department. Other La Frontera Cafe locations in the county were not mentioned in the report.
“There are both live and dead cockroaches in the establishment, including near the tortilla chip storage, in the mop sink room, and dead cockroaches are present in the bar area,” the report stated. It added that dead cockroaches had not been removed from the building.
Salt Lake County Health Department spokesman Nicholas Rupp said pest and vermin inside food establishments are actually a typical problem for restaurants.
Among the 17 critical and 31 noncritical violations, it cited that “the person in charge is unable to demonstrate knowledge of the relationship between the prevention of foodborne illness and maintaining the food establishment in a clean condition.”
Other citations in the report included lack of soap in certain hand sinks, an unclean ice machine interior and a dirty ceiling in areas around the restaurant.
"The inability to wash hands is something that we take very seriously and could cause a restaurant to be closed," Rupp said.
Duane Kopfer, of Alpine, said he and his wife, Ellen, had regularly eaten at the restaurant for more than a decade and were stunned by the health report.
"We drove in from Alpine just to have lunch here," he said. "It always seemed like a clean place to me."
Attempts to get a comment from management at La Frontera were unsuccessful on Friday. The restaurant will remain closed until health department officials determine it is safe to reopen.
Contributing: Ladd Egan, KSL TV