Knoxville, TN: Food temperatures, sanitation issues keep health grades low at 2 Knox County restaurants

By Don Dare  |

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Both of the food establishments that have low health inspection grades this week passed their semi-annual check up. However, there are critical violations that the inspectors noted in their reports that you should know about.


Spicy’s North, 950 E. Emory Road – Grade: 78

While that’s passing, there were some violations.

Food temperatures were a problem. Sliced tomatoes and hamburger were at 44 degrees. They should have been kept cool at 41 degrees or below.

The inspector writes the cooler was not working properly. When she checked the men’s room, one of the toilets wasn’t working.

When the inspector checked one of the toxic spray bottles, it was unlabeled. Kitchen staff is supposed to know what’s inside spray bottles so there are no surprises.


Taco Mex, 2742 Washington Ave. – Grade: 82

Taxo Mex is a mobile food truck that travels to a variety of areas around North Knoxville.

A kitchen worker had long fingernails, according to the inspector. The length of the nails is not the problem. It was the dirt accumulated under those long nails that were of concern. Had that employee wanted to properly clean his fingernails, he couldn’t because the inspector found no hot water working at Taco Mex.

The inspector writes that employees were not washing their hands properly anyway, as they’re required to do.

Within a week or so, those critical violations the inspectors noted at Spicy’s North and Taco Mex will be checked again.

More: Food Inspection Reports

Top scores of the week:

  • Chick-fil-a, 4944 Kingston Pike – Grade: 100
  • Wedny’s, 2401 Chapman Highway – Grade: 100
  • Krystal’s, 7215 Strawberry Plains – Grade: 100
  • Altruda’s Italian Restaurant, 125 N. Peters Road – Grade: 99
  • Pei Wei, 11301 Parkside Drive – Grade: 99
  • K-Brew, 1328 North Broadway – Grade: 99
  • K.F.C., 2918 Broadway – Grade: 98
  • Taco Bell, 11217 Parkside Drive – Grade: 99
  • Penn Station, 7925 Kingston Pike – Grade: 98
  • Cheddar’s, 8390 Kingston Pike – Grade: 97
  • Chick-fil-a, 1017 Francis Street – Grade: 97
  • Froyoz of Powell, 623 E. Emory Road – Grade: 99