Lafayette Taco Bell Reopens After Closure Due To “Imminent Hazard”

September 18, 2019 8:00 am · 24 comments

Taco Bell, located at 3501 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette, was closed on September 12 after inspectors from the Contra Costa County Health Department found the following violations, which they say posed an imminent hazard.

  • Temperature in kitchen measured between 96F to 110F with back door and dining room door propped open.
  • Inadequate ventilation affecting food temperatures in refrigerated top inserts on the prep line.
  • Multiple potentially hazardous foods stored in the top insert measured between 50F to 51F.
  • Excessive ambient temperature poses potential health issues related to heat for the employees.
  • Per employee, central air conditioning unit has been inoperative for several months.

No type of vermin were found in the restaurant during the inspection.

The restaurant has since been reinspected and reopened.

Please click on the ‘Dirty Dining‘ link to view all the most recent restaurant closures in Contra Costa County.

Rob September 18, 2019 at 8:27 AM

I assume this Taco Bell is a franchise? If so – did the corporate HQ know of these conditions and let them go on? Or did they not and if not – it sounds like something that didn’t happen overnight – are they not running their own inspections?

When a teenager I worked one of the large hamburger places and everything, every day was checked and from day one we were told if you spot anything you let management know so it can be taken care of. They were very worried about ensuring things were right and making sure corporate didn’t find anything or learn of anything.

The Wizard September 18, 2019 at 8:31 AM

A real Sweatshop

Pony September 18, 2019 at 9:38 AM

If having back doors propped open is a crime, they need to check most taqueria’s and chinese places.

May September 18, 2019 at 10:19 AM

Really? An open side door is not why TB was forced to shut down. It’s because the owners were too cheap to fix the A/C unit. It was so hot the refrigeration to failed. That caused the food temperature to rise so high harmful bacteria could grow in it. Dozens of customers could’ve gotten seriously ill. It’s no laughing matter.

Bob Foo September 18, 2019 at 10:23 AM

I think they were just making a point that even with the doors open, it was still too hot in there.

Bob September 18, 2019 at 10:36 AM

Reading comprehension my dude. I’m sure the “Temperature in kitchen measured between 96F to 110F” part of that point was the more important piece.

JazzMan September 18, 2019 at 10:39 AM

I don’t think having the back door open was the issue. I believe the issue was that, even with the door open the temp inside was dangerous for cold food storage and employee health.

Michael September 18, 2019 at 12:41 PM

Having both dining door and back door open could have also created a drive thru or open door policy for vermin to pass thru or come and go as they please.

Mimi (original) September 18, 2019 at 10:49 AM

I’m guessing that an employee attempting to work under the extreme heat conditions turned this location in to the inspectors – and good for them!! It’s insane and in-humane what some companies will do to their employees for the almighty dollar! I worked in retail in Clayton some years ago, in the shopping center where the (new) Ross is, and our A/C went out one weekend and the store became ungodly hot but we were still forced to work as “maintenance has been called and they’ll get right on it!” Of course, it took them several days to “Get right on it!” UGH!!

Why Am I Hangry? September 18, 2019 at 10:55 AM

I honestly don’t blame them. I used to work at sbux and our unit was broken for over a year. I dreaded working there. Didn’t fix it until we threatened to call OSHA

Mimi (original) September 18, 2019 at 3:02 PM

Did you work at the Lafayette one on the corner? My offspring did and they suffered regularly. I actually took in some table fans one weekend – not that it really helped.

Steve September 18, 2019 at 10:57 AM

“No type of vermin were found in the restaurant during the inspection” No because it was too damn hot even for a rat.

PH Dad September 18, 2019 at 11:45 AM

This is one of the oldest Taco Bell restaurants, I think something like #168 if I remember from when I worked there nearly 40 years ago. Really small building with not much space in the kitchen.
It was a franchise then and likely now. Probably don’t want to rebuild the place since it would trigger a reassessment of their property values.

CoCoOld September 18, 2019 at 4:32 PM

It’s been open well over 50 years. I used to go there with my friends in high school. Everything was a quarter. Entire menu: tacos (hard only), red burrito, green burrito or Bell Burger. I don’t remember what the drinks were, we always had water.

Michelle September 21, 2019 at 10:18 PM

CoCoOld, you forgot a couple items, a tostada and cup of beans.
Funny, a friend and I realized today that our first jobs were at Taco Bell. Me in 1968-70 while college student. We hand cut every vegetable, cooked and refried the beans, filled the taco sauce cups. She was surprised as she’s 20 yrs younger than me so lots of stuff prepackaged in the 80s. I worked at 3 different places in Bakersfield, all owned by a retired Orange Co cop. If he only knew what other things were in the bags along with tacos. 😆

Whatever September 18, 2019 at 12:21 PM

Normally, the imminent hazard occurs AFTER eating at Taco Bell.

KFPH September 18, 2019 at 1:28 PM

Fire in the hole!

Silva September 18, 2019 at 1:08 PM

That was the first Taco Bell I ever heard of. After they built it in the 1960s My mom used to take me there for a nice little styrofoam cup of refrieds topped with melted cheese and a taco after a long day. We each had that same meal every single time, beginning to end. Seems like it cost $1.63 for the two of us, and boy was it good. That place is almost an historic building.

huey9k September 18, 2019 at 4:18 PM

I used to work at this TB back in 95. It was corporate then. It used to be a nice place.

Jacquelyn Lafayette Resident September 18, 2019 at 5:15 PM

Me and my fiance ate there before they closed and my fiance ended up having food poisoning for like 2 days…never again. Its super close to us but we’d rather go farther and make sure we wont get sick lol

Pete September 18, 2019 at 5:23 PM

The sign in the window says they are “now hiring friendly people.”

Just don’t complain about the lack of A/C.

Atticus Thraxx September 18, 2019 at 6:49 PM

Under the best conditions Taco Bell is a roll of the dice.

mike favar September 18, 2019 at 6:57 PM

I one worked at a (now closed) H Salt Fish and Chips restaurant. One day, the fan (we had no A/C) quit working. The owner kept saying “it was being fixed”, which never was. It turns out (I found out from whomever bought it) that the owner had the fan dismantled because “It was costing him too much money”.

There were also times when the floor drains backed up into the kitchen area & he would still keep open (customers can see the flooding on the floor, also there were exposed electrical wires). All for a buck.

Gitttup September 18, 2019 at 10:28 PM

When I lived in Lafayette in the late 60s early 70s and before I learned how to cook, that Taco Bell after work was like fine dining to me. Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

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