Food & Drink

Rodents ran around and pooped in 8 restaurants, inspections reveal

Dried rodent poop on a shelf with a microwave. A live rodent in a trap under an oven.

State inspectors saw those and other signs of restaurant rodents at three establishments in Miami-Dade and five in Broward County over the last 30 days. The Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants, Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspects food establishments periodically.

READ MORE: Go to the Dining Adviser for reviews and inspection reports

Vermin violations, among six high-priority code sins, shut down Wilton Manors’ Lotus Chinese Kitchen for violations after its Jan. 12 inspection. The live roach found at 1432 NE 26th St. contributed to the closing. Also among the high priority violations was cooked food wasn’t probably cooled, such as the chicken in a walk-in cooler that lacked cool (76 degrees).

The rodents left 20 to 30 fresh droppings around and behind a water heater and 22 fresh droppings on a shelf under a dish washing area table. Both areas are in the kitchen with no doors separating them. The restaurant is open again.

Santamise Louis, 2001 Dixie Hwy. in Pompano Beach, was shut down with two high-priority violations. The closed cabinet under the cook line grill area contained 35 to 40 dry rodent droppings. Rodents got on the top of the water heater and left 10 to 12 droppings there. There were 35 to 40 dry droppings on a carpeted stairway and 45 to 50 in a closed upstairs storeroom on a floor, in floor pans and on a stainless steel table.

All that counted as one violation. The rodent rub marks near and along some electrical pipes counted as the second.

State inspectors visited Fort Lauderdale’s Copper Kettle, 1611 S. Andrews Ave., three times this month.

The first high-priority violation listed on the first visit, Jan. 10 was composed of 48 dried rodent droppings behind a large chest freezer at the cook line, two dried rodent droppings behind the cook line oven on the floor and four dried droppings on a cook line shelf with a microwave oven.

Droppings behind a chest freezer, a storage door, under shelves, including a wine storage shelf indicated rodent activity at Fort Lauderdale’s La Cucina Veneziana, 3471 N. Federal Hwy, on Jan. 18. So did the live rodent caught in a trap under a bread oven.

China Star’s 31 total violations on Jan. 17 included eight high-priority problems among which was rodent droppings on the employee restroom floor. The restaurant is at 1320 Coral Ridge Dr. in Coral Springs.

Rodents did their business by the three-compartment sink and the hand-washing sink at Raspados Y Fritanga Villareyna, 2479 W. Flagler St. Also in Little Havana, Sabor Venezolano Brickell, 252 SW Eighth St., showed rodent droppings on a floor near a front area counter.

Among the four high-priority violations on Dec. 29 at Miami Beach’s Juicy Gyros, 6944 Collins Ave, was rodent poop in dry storage.

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