Restaurant News & Reviews

Restroom to food prep without hand washing. Roaches on the prep table. Restaurant fails

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.

This week’s Sick and Shut Down List spans Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, includes a food truck and a nice variety of foods.

It also includes someone who handled food after using the restroom without washing his hands in-between these tasks.

What follows comes from state restaurant inspections. We control neither who gets inspected nor how strictly the inspector applies state standards. We report this without passion or prejudice, but with a side order of humor.

In alphabetical order:

Aloha Dogs, 522 Lucerne Ave., Lake Worth — We’re not sure if this is some Hawaiian hot dog joint that people named Brett or Jules might appreciate. But we do know it’s a Mobile Food Dispensing Vehicle, and even a food truck must have the basics of cleanliness. So, no soap, towels, hot or cold water at the handwashing sink and “Aloha” meant “goodbye” Wednesday.

It meant “hello” Thursday when the truck got things working again.

Pizza Corner, 3751 S. Military Trail, Greenacres — The bronze medal observation on this inspection: “16 dead roaches on glue trap next to handwash sink.”

The silver medal: three live roaches and 18 dead ones at the front counter.

And, atop the podium, our gold medal winner, “13 live roaches on prep table by three-compartment sink.”

That’s 13 roaches running on a table where food gets fixed up for serving to customers.

The rest of the roach count goes 11 live behind the fliptop refrigerator next to the pizza oven, one live and three dead by the three-compartment sink, four dead behind the fliptop refrigerator next to the handwash sink, three dead under the pizza box shelf, two dead on the handwash sink next to the water heater and three dead in the bathroom.

Roaches at the kitchen handwashing sink but no way to dry hands. No Division of Hotels and Restaurants license, either.

When the inspector returned Thursday, there were two roaches running around the restroom hand sink and six hanging out by the three-compartment sink. And apparently, nobody thought to do the basic wiping down before the inspector came back as dead roaches were found in a restroom cabinet, at the front counter, on the prep table next to the pizza oven, on a shelf above a slicer, in a timer box by the back door and in a speeder web behind the freezer.

Pizza Corner was cleared Friday and were given time to get its restaurant license situation handled.

Restaurant El Trovador, 1530 NE Eighth St., Homestead — OK, it’s not the most disturbing violation from Wednesday’s inspection, but who can resist the visual of “one dead roach floating in standing water at mop sink?”

Wonder if the poor dope always wanted a pool.

As for the live and crawling, “approximately seven live roaches crawling on wall between three compartment sink and mop sink...approximately two live roaches crawling outside of water heating device located above mop sink next to three-compartment sink...one live roach crawling on wall above storage rack above three-compartment sink...one live roach falling into gap in wall from paper towel to hand wash sink and crawling at near faucet at kitchen hand sink.”

Four dead roaches, including the aforementioned floater, dotted the establishment.

The reach-in cooler near the back door had an “accumulation of food residue,” shelves with “rust that has pitted the surface” and “food debris/dust/grease/soil residue” on the outside. The inspection didn’t say what was stored in that cooler.

El Trovador was back open on Thursday.

Thai Thai Restaurant, 1861 N. Pine Island Rd., Plantation — Understandable that some folks would be most alarmed by “eight dry rodent droppings under sushi counter” spotted Jan. 7. But here’s a direct effect violation: “Employee used the bathroom and then engaged in food preparation, handled clean equipment or utensils, or touched unwrapped single-service items without washing hands upon returning to employee area.”

We hope nobody coughed or sneezed in the reach-in freezer because “stored food not covered in reach-in freezer. Raw chicken not covered...”

How did the Coke or Sprite taste? Because the inspector saw an “accumulation of black/green mold-like substance on/around soda dispensing nozzles.”

This almost causes you go gloss over the three live roaches and 17 dead ones the inspector saw.

Thai Thai passed passed Tuesday’s repeat inspection.

Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.
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