Restaurant News & Reviews

Flies swarm a Smoothie King. Ceiling water drips on chicken. Restaurants fail inspections

A statewide look at Florida’s top restaurant violations for 2016-17

Restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. Here are the top ten violations inspectors found between 2016-17 in Florida restaurant kitchens.
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Restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. Here are the top ten violations inspectors found between 2016-17 in Florida restaurant kitchens.

Maybe restaurants in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties are cleaning up, literally, if not at the cash register. Maybe some inspectors have been on vacation.

But the Sick and Shut Down List of South Florida restaurants that got closed for at least a day after failing state inspection is relatively short for the second straight week. But, there are still problems to chronicle.

What follows comes from inspections by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. We don’t control who gets inspected or how strictly they’re inspected. We list this without passion or prejudice, but with two tablespoons of humor and a dash of judgment.

In alphabetical order:

Chez Madame Johns, 975 NE 125th St., North Miami — Staff showed the inspector a receipt for a visit from the exterminator on Oct. 8.

The inspector saw that, but also saw on Oct. 16, “Four live roaches crawling on crevices under preparation table located in the kitchen area. Also, two live roaches inside crevices under steam table in the kitchen, one live roach inside open and empty space next to three-compartment sink and one live roach behind the flour container in dry storage.”

Among the dead were “eight dead roaches under counter where some clean single-use containers are stored.”

Perhaps as discomfiting, the inspector spotted “employees washing dishes without sanitizing them” and “employee cleaning prep table, then engaged in food preparation without washing hands.”

And if the employee washed his hands at the kitchen handwash sink, there was no way to dry hands.

Under basic cleanliness, we find the problem of “accumulation of a substance that looks like mold in reach in freezer gaskets, accumulation of grease in hood filters.”

The place also had an expired Division of Hotels and Restaurants license.

Madame Johns got it together to pass the re-inspection on Oct. 18.

Paradise Biryani Pointe, 7667 Lake Worth Rd., Lake Worth — We’ll start with the bugs. Nine live ones under a microwave on a shelf over a kitchen prep table and 15 dead ones under a kitchen prep table. Five live ones next to a small prep table and four dead ones on a shelf holding onions. There were 11 dead roaches in dry storage, two dead ones under a refrigerator and one on the floor by the cookline.

The inspector pulled out the thermometer and the weather report said a monsoon of Stop Sales were coming for food kept at temperatures conducive to bacteria growth.

Cooked rice, garlic ginger sauce, cooked goat, tomato sauce, eggs, yogurt, cheese, milk, butter and heavy cream all got tossed for being over 41 degrees (and the closest was at 57 degrees).

The inspector also put a Stop Sale on the chicken because the water was dripping on it from the ceiling.

Dripping ceiling water also created standing water on the floor by the dishwasher. Speaking of floors, there was food debris on the floor in dry storage, prep tables and speed racks.

The yogurt sauce in a rear refrigerator wasn’t date marked.

There was no soap at the handwash sink and no sanitizer getting used by the dishmachine.

On the Friday re-inspection, there were three live roaches and one dead roach on a plate next to the ice machine. Live roaches in the bathroom, spice shelf, dry storage, three-compartment sink, dead roaches on rice bags, on a blender, under onions, in the ice machine.

Even after Monday, there’s still a follow-up inspection required.

Smoothie King, 3 N. State Rd. 7, Plantation — In the front counter area, the inspector on. Oct. 16 saw “approximately 50 to 60 (flies) at front counter prep area” landing on open food storage containers, blenders, fruit and ice cream scoops, the food prep counter and “flying around the open top reach-in cooler inserts with cut fruits.”

Back in the kitchen, “approximately 20 to 30 flying around dry storage shelves” and landing on boxes of ripe bananas, clean food containers and on boxes of single service items on shelf.

In the bathroom, the “interior of toilet bowl with mold like substance” was noted. Not as scary, but still pretty unsanitary is “covered waste receptacle not provided in women’s bathroom.”

Also, scary, “In-use ice scoop stored on soiled surface between uses. Observed ice scoop in a heavily soiled container.”

The inspector gave them a break, popping back by later on Oct. 16. The fly count was down to 15 to 20 out front and 10 to 15 in the kitchen area. That’s still too high. Other problems remained also.

Wednesday’s re-inspection got the Smoothie King back on the throne.

Yeung’s Lotus Express, 10300 West Forest Hill Blvd., Wellington — Rodents in this place get around like a bad rumor.

First, the inspector saw, around “15 dry rodent droppings at shelf in prep area; two on a soy sauce bucket, one on the floor, two on cans of hoisin, two under the stove, four on top of the oven, one behind the rice container, one in front of the walk-in cooler and two behind the reach-in freezer.”

Notice the poop on the hoisin cans? That’s probably frustrating for management, seeing as how they got dinged also for baited glue rodent traps stored on cans of hoisin and sesame oil. So, along with being ineffective, this drew a Stop Sale on the cans of hoisin and sesame oil.

The inspector wasn’t finished dropping Stop Sales. The staff put a container of cut lemons in the use for customer drinks. Say goodbye to the ice.

On the buffet, the fried fish, chicken with vegetables and shrimp weren’t kept at warm enough temperatures. On the cook line, the ragoon, egg rolls, pork, raw shell eggs, rice and tempura chicken ranged from four to 27 degrees too warm.

The sanitizer strength was 0ppm, so, “do not use equipment/utensils not properly sanitized.”

The front counter handwash sink couldn’t be used because it had cup lids. In the back prep area, there was no way to dry hands that had been washed.

Yeung’s met the minimum standards on Wednesday’s callback inspection.