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El Rio scores 47 on recent health inspection
El Rio

A local Mexican restaurant received a low score on a recent health inspection, though the owner is disputing the reasoning behind it.

El Rio Mexican Restaurant, 248 Atlanta Road, recently received a 47 on a Forsyth County Health Department inspection on Jan. 3.

Issues noted in the inspection report include problems with managerial controls, a chef prepping tomatoes with bare hands, not having required paperwork for shellfish, food not being held at the proper temperature and food not being discarded at the proper time.

In a follow-up inspection on Jan. 11, the store received a 90. The only issues cited in the report were storage of meats near ready-to-eat food, raw fish and raw chicken stored next to each other and the most recent inspection not posted. 

Previously, the restaurant earned scores of 83 in January 2017 and 83 in June of 2017. Alfonso Huerta, owner of El Rio, said he has never had a score this low.

El Rio inspection

Huerta said he has had previous issues with the inspector and this was the lowest score he had in his career.

“All I ask is to be fair,” he said. “All I want is just someone professional to come to my restaurant.”

Huerta said the inspector was in the store for about three hours and the chef made an error by not changing gloves between touching different foods. He also said the restaurant was not required to keep the paperwork for the shellfish.

“I think we have a very clean environment,” Huerta said.