Restaurant News & Reviews

A live rodent was floating in a restaurant sink. Others pooped all over the place

A statewide look at Florida’s top restaurant violations

Routine, unannounced restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. These are the top ten violations found between 2015-16 in Florida restaurant kitchens.
Up Next
Routine, unannounced restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. These are the top ten violations found between 2015-16 in Florida restaurant kitchens.

“Observed a live rodent floating inside the middle compartment of triple sink in kitchen area with soiled food containers.”

That note is from a restaurant inspector’s report that noted mostly rodent droppings. So, let’s not tarry in getting to our listing of the 12 Miami-Dade and Broward restaurants cited for rodent activity over the last month. The Rodent Report comes from state inspection reports without passion or prejudice (but with a little humor).

First, the restaurants in which the presence of rodents played a role in them getting shut down for the day or more:

▪ BG Whiskey Creek Hideout, 6503 N. Ocean Dr., Dania — The rodents found the Hideout by Tuesday, considering the inspector saw dry rodent poop droppings in 12 places: two on the bottom shelf of the prep table in the kitchen, five on the bottom shelf of the prep table under cutting boards, five on the floor under microwave, seven in front by the sunglasses case, two on top of the keg cooler under the plastic cup shelf, 30 behind the flip top cooler by the kitchen door, 20 behind the flip top cooler next to the steam table and ice machine, 10 behind the oven/ flat top grill, two by the hand washing sink and first aid kit, 30 under shelves in the storage area in kitchen, 20 by the mop sink and under chemical rack, 10 by the back door.

Not seen in the employee restroom were soap, hand towels or any hand drying mechanism. Fish dip, American cheese and coleslaw that had been made at the restaurant more than a day before had no dates on them. At least the pan of rice that had been sitting there almost a month was marked as having been made Nov. 15. Pre-cooked chicken wings in a flip-top cooler had been there since three days previous. They got tossed after time and temperature violations drew a stop-sale order. The same happened with “two dozen rolls with green mold in wood cabinet on wall in kitchen.”

Also spotted: “dead flies and dead spiders along wall next to microwave.”

There wasn’t total compliance during Friday’s re-inspection, but the Hideout got a time extension (granted when the inspector rules the establishment is trying to fix things, but can’t for reasons beyond its control).

Observed a live rodent floating inside the middle compartment of triple sink in kitchen area with soiled food containers.

Line from the Nov. 27 inspection of Cayard’s Bakery.

▪ Cayard’s Bakery, 12801 Dixie Hwy, North Miami — The inspector who dropped by on Nov. 27 “observed a live rodent floating inside the middle compartment of triple sink in kitchen area with soiled food containers.”

Was it floating on its back? Was it wearing little sunglasses? Lying on a floatie? The inspection didn’t say.

But here’s something else the inspection said, “Observed approximately seven dry (rodent) droppings on top of ceiling tile on dry storage shelf; observed three dry droppings inside a fryer stored next to walk in cooler. Observed approximately 20 dry droppings underneath a storage rack by bakery section. Observed approximately 20 dry droppings by the corner of chest freezer and prep table by bakery prep area.”

You would think even the rodents would not hang around a place with a whopping 52 violations, including stop-sale orders for cooked chicken, cooked fish filling, cooked chicken filling, cooked beef filling, cooked chicken wings, cooked pasta, cooked goat, cooked chicken, cooked rice, cooked black beans and rice, all kept at improper temperatures after being cooked and stored from the previous day.

Of course, that’s not surprising as the inspector also noted, “Cold holding equipment not maintained in good repair.”

Hand-washing, a basic of food preparation, proved a problem, too. A hand-washing sink was “missing in room where prep tables are located and employees are decorating cakes.” There was no soap at the kitchen hand-washing sink, and no paper towels or blow dryer at another hand-washing sink. This, too: “Observed raw fish directly on walk in freezer floor.”

They got everything together enough on Nov. 28 to be allowed to reopen.

▪ Claudie B’s, 545 Lucy St., Homestead — Maybe the rodents heard somebody coming on Nov. 27 because the inspector found “approximately 100-150 moist rodent droppings found in the kitchen on a wooden food storage shelf.” But that wasn’t all that the little critters left behind: “Observed rodent rub marks along pipes on the walls in the kitchen area. Also, evidence of gnawing observed on a box of basic muffin mix located on a wooden food storage shelf located in the kitchen.”

The inspector slapped a stop sale on the muffin mix as well as a “box of buttermilk pancakes open in a reach-in cooler with live roach activity present in the the cooler.”

On the Nov. 28 re-inspection, “Observed approximately 30 moist droppings on the floors and wooden shelf located in the kitchen.” Claudie B’s stayed closed. The Nov. 29 re-inspection fell short partially on roach problems. Claudie B’s reopened after the Nov. 30 inspection.

▪ El Porton de la Flaca, 1460 NW 107th Ave., Sweetwater —This place got put in timeout on Dec. 4, partially on “two fresh droppings by rice cooker (in use). Observed approximately 25 fresh rodent droppings in storage area.” The cooked potatoes and sancocho soup, cooked the night before, also got stop-sale orders.

El Porton got a clean inspection report on the Dec. 6 do-over.

▪ Little Saigon, 16752 N. Miami Ave., North Miami Beach — One restaurant was subtracted from the local Vietnamese cuisine scene after its Dec. 4 inspection, during which the inspector saw “approximately 15-plus dried rodent droppings underneath the cook line, eight dried on kitchen prep table, five dried on the kitchen shelves, 10 dried on kitchen floor by cook line, seven dried under the dry storage area and two dried on the employee bathroom floor.” Beyond that, the pork boo and the dumplings got hit with a stop-sale order. A

lso, the inspector “observed Operator picked up live roach off cook line, and did not wash hands.” Little Saigon’s re-inspection has not been posted.

Then, we have the restaurants with an overall inspection that fell under Administrative Complaint Recommended — they could stay open, but the inspector will be back to check on deficiencies.

Observed Operator picked up live roach off cook line, and did not wash hands.

Line from the Dec. 4 inspection of Little Saigon.

▪ Yeung Ming Chinese Restaurant, 26655 South Dixie Hwy., Homestead — This restaurant racked up 34 total violations on Nov. 29. One of them was the inspector seeing “approximately 15+ dry rodent droppings on aluminum tray located by cook line … approximately three dry droppings underneath microwave by cook line … approximately one moist rodent dropping and approximately five dry droppings underneath steam table storing sauces. Observed approximately 15-plus dry droppings behind reach-in cooler in kitchen area.” Shy customers had to hold their business until they got elsewhere because “bathroom does not have lock to ensure the privacy of occupants” and “bathroom facility not clean.”

▪ Blessed Catering Something Different, 4799 NW Seventh Ave., Suite A, Miami — The eatery had eight violations, two of which were High Priority violations, but one of those was “approximately two large dry and crumbly rodent droppings on floor under shelf in kitchen. Kitchen shelf has pots and pans. Two dry and crumbly on kitchen counter next to microwave. Observed approximately four fresh droppings inside personal items storage closet.”

▪ Bobby’s Meals, 2109 Opa-locka Blvd., Opa-locka — Last week, an inspector saw “10 dry and crumbly rodent droppings on the floor by the front area between the file cabinet and wall. Observed approximately five dry and crumbly rodent droppings by a wall sill in the kitchen” as well as “rub marks on the kitchen wall, by electric pipes.”


Some places got off with just a warning.

▪ Brunch Box, 3439 NW 99th Way, Coral Springs — Nine violations, but five were High Priority. One of them was detailed as “Observed approximately 22 dried rodent droppings along wall behind cookline. One moist dropping under rolling cart in cookline, and one dried dropping behind Roper white cooler next to cookline near rodent trap.”

The trap’s effectiveness clearly needs to be questioned, as the inspector also noted: “Observed nine dried rodent droppings along wall and under and around Green World cooler near back prep area. Observed 18 dried rodent droppings along wall under dry storage shelving units in back prep area. Observed at least 32 dried rodent droppings under shelving for pots and pans in back prep area and around water heater tank and triple sink. Also, observed at least 23 dried rodent droppings around turned off General Electric cooler in back prep area, six dried rodent droppings in pickup area behind turned off cooler and kitchen door, and at least 19 dried droppings in back room around chemicals shelf near bathroom. At least six dried droppings behind coolers with microwave along wall in cookline.”

▪ Cafeteria Tonita, 1625 Palm Ave., Hialeah — The inspector saw “approximately 40 dry rodent droppings on the floor beside dry storage shelf inside dry storage room. Observed approximately five dry rodent droppings on the floor under front counter by the corner.”

▪ China Garden, 17207 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens —The first inspection for this China Garden resulted in a warning despite 33 total violations, seven of which were High Priority. As for the restaurant’s rodents, they were well-traveled, from the sitting areas to the kitchen: “Observed approximately five dry droppings, on the food rack by dry storage room; approximately nine dry droppings inside reach-in cooler in the back kitchen area; approximately six dry droppings behind food rack on the floor; approximately seven dry droppings under the prep table by cooking oil; approximately three dry droppings on the sofa and approximately four dry droppings on the floor in the dry storage area; approximately two dry droppings on floor by the walk-in cooler.”

▪ La Caridad Cafeteria, 18172 NW Second Ave., North Miami-Dade — One lonely dry dropping in a dish cupboard.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal