Something new has been added to this listing of South Florida’s Gross Grocers: weevils.
Surely these aren’t the first food sellers cited for the little beetles infiltrating the food being sold. But it’s the first time since we began checking out Department of Agriculture inspections that weevils have popped up on the reports.
Our “Gross Grocers” list comes from Florida Department of Agriculture inspections of supermarkets, convenience stores, pharmacies, in general, places that sell packaged food. All of these places failed an inspection. We don’t decide who gets inspected or how strictly. We list these without passion or prejudice, but with a healthy spread of humor.
In alphabetical order:
▪ Bubba’s Supermarket, 7465 NW Seventh Ave., Miami — There were weevils here.
Out on the shelves, the inspector saw several bags of rice with weevils. The manager trashed the rice.
“Food service area, observed old dry product residue on slicer used the previous day.”
There seemed to be a general cleanliness problem: “Retail, food service and back room areas observed lots of trash under storage racks and throughout entire establishment.”
Bubba’s passed its re-inspection on Wednesday.
▪ Casablanca Bakery, 590 E. Fourth Ave., Hialeah — As time goes by, you shouldn’t see “bakery area, old dry product residue on slicer and inside small mixer.”
Nor was the inspector happy to see “food service area, observed employees coming in and out of the area, not washing hands first as required.”
▪ Colon Supermarket, 324 SW 12th Ave., Miami — Some places remember to clean the ice machine regularly. Some places remember to clean the ice machines now and then. Other places…
“Food service area, meat area, mold inside small ice maker by hot case, also mold inside big ice maker in the cutting area.”
Also in the meat area, “old dry product residue inside blade of band saw, two small slicers, tenderize machine, and cutting board.”
Colon was clean enough in Wednesday’s re-inspection.
▪ CVS, 10241 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation — On Nov. 26, in the back room, there were bottled beverages with wrapping marred by rodent nibbles and rodent droppings on shelves and the floor.
Out in Aisles 1 and 3, “observed rodent droppings and urine on the floor under metal shelves where chips, nuts and other food items” are sold.
A Stop Use order remains on the back room area.
▪ Desserts and Desserts, 10502 W. Flagler St., West Miami-Dade — Desserts and Desserts failed and failed an inspection and re-inspection on Oct. 31 and Nov. 14 before passing a re-inspection Wednesday.
This is from the Nov. 14 failure, during which there was no hot water in the employee restroom handwashing sink.
And, for those who like tres leches…
“Observed employee in the production of tres leches dessert not changing gloves once the gloves had become soiled” and “observed flies too numerous to count in the tres leches processing area.”
But we shouldn’t pick on the tres leches artistes when “observed various employees working in the production of the Colombian empanadas and employee in the production of the tres leches dessert, leave their work area and not wash hands.”
Then again, some handwashing sinks were blocked by buckets, missing soap and paper towels.
▪ The Fresh Market, 8760 SW 136th St., Kendall — Sampling the cool and hot counter creations to a jazz soundtrack, you don’t expect that in the back there might be “old red food residue encrusted on interior housing of meat grinder and old yellow food residue encrusted on and between the blades of the tenderizer.”
Or that there’s an “open package of German brand bologna found without a date mark inside the reach-in cold unit and employees did not know when they were opened.”
The shrimp cold bar couldn’t cool shrimp products to 41 degrees, so the inspector dropped a Stop Use on it until it got repaired.
They got the shrimp cold bar and another seafood area problem fixed and cleared in five days.
▪ The Golden Hog, 91 Harbor Dr., Key Biscayne — Dead roaches were found on the floor in the back room and cookware washing area.
Speaking of cookware washing, “employee observed not sanitizing utensils after washing them” and the deli slicer wasn’t cleaned after four hours of use, as state rules require.
▪ La Mexicana Market, 27863 S. Dixie Hwy, South Miami-Dade — Pork rinds, red sauce and green sauce chicken tamales got tossed for temperature problems.
The reach-in cooler in the meat/deli area was “found in disrepair with an ambient temperature of 58 degrees…and with the glass missing on the unit doors (plastic being used).”
▪ Latin American Bakery, 890 SW 57th Ave., West Miami — “At the kitchen area and other departments, observed no paper towels provided at the hand wash sinks.” The inspector didn’t see any hand soap, either.
And nobody likes to see the utensils used on their food stored this way. “At the kitchen, bakery and food service areas, observed food dispensing tongs, scoops, knifes placed on oven handles, under equipment, between wall and prep tables.”
Mixed raw eggs were left in a cooler for 10 hours and still weren’t close to cool enough.
▪ Las Villas Market, 7397 W. Flagler St., West Miami-Dade — Problems here could be described as “black” and “mold-like.” And that’s what the inspector did.
“Storage area, observed cut tomatoes with black mold-like spots.” Also, “Food service, ice machine ice chute with visible black mold-like stains.”
More ice problems: “Retail area, no microbiological testing conducting on bagged ice. Establishment has 30 calendar days to submit microbiological test results via email.”
The cut watermelon got tossed for being too warm. And in the kitchen area, bags not meant for contact with food were being used for reheating black bean rice.
▪ North Miami Caraf, 13701 NW Seventh Ave., North Miami-Dade — Keeping what should be hot warm enough and what should be cold cool enough proved to be a problem.
Corn dogs, chicken tenders, chicken wings, egg rolls and croquetas that needed to be at 135 degrees all measured 115 to 117. They were joined in the trash by sandwiches with ham or cheese that needed to be at 41 degrees, but were at 77 to 79 degrees.
And in the unisex restroom for customers, the trash can had no cover. That’s fine for your home, but the state frowns upon that in a public traffic toilet room.
▪ Presidente Supermarket, 9875 SW 40th St., West Miami-Dade — “Deli/meat area, dirty water flowing out from the floor drain onto the floors. Meat processing, dirty water flowing up from the floor drain, Stop Use on all equipment and all processing until system is repaired.”
Aside from the black water, there also seemed to be too much “old yellow” in this inspection.
“Old yellow food” was found on a deli spare slicer, a tenderizer and a tabletop grinder. Not surprising considering four slicers in the deli area and meat area weren’t properly washed and sanitized in a timely manner.
“Yellow old meat residue” in a floor grinder.
“Old yellow grease/food” made the meat area warewash sink “unclean with…residue inside the basins and on the drain boards.”
Sweet ham, serrano ham, turkey breast, roast pork, boiled ham, muenster cheese, white cheese, low salt turkey, boiled ham, alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts and bagged salads all got thrown out for not being properly cooled.
This should make you feel good about the ham: “Also, employees relabeled lunch meats with current date when exterior bag were found to be unclean, therefore losing track of the original date. And found three bags with ham ends not date marked and employee did not know when packages were opened.”
This Presidente passed its re-inspection Thursday.
▪ Rika Bakery, 1025 E. 24th St., Hialeah — More weevils.
They were in the barrels of dough to be used for cooking crackers. Also, a barrel of granulated sugar had “foreign objects” in the sugar.
Six barrels of dough, one barrel of sugar turned into seven barrels of garbage.
And, “Observed employee grab trash can with hands wearing gloves, then proceed to keep processing…employee did not wash hands after contaminating.”
▪ Sedano’s, 16255 SW 88th St, West Kendall — The lowlights of this inspection were The Handwashing Maiden’s Tale.
“In the kitchen, saw an employee touch her face, not washing her hands, entering and exiting the area and continuing cooking and preparing food without washing her hands. Pick up dirty utensils and placed inside three-compartment sink and continuing working with open food without washing her hands.”
“Observed employee preparing ready to eat food (cooked pork) with her bare hands.” The cooked pork was tossed.
The meat department’s three-compartment sink had “a buildup of old grease and mold inside.”
▪ Swiman Enterprises, 5918 Okeechobee Rd., West Palm Beach — Eggs, bologna, hot dogs and milk at 51 degrees in walk-in and they need to be cooled to 41 degrees. All tossed.
Rodent droppings were seen on a customer counter and on the floor of the retail area, to the right hand of entrance and in front of the cash register. The inspector a Stop Use order. If the inspector sees pest poop on the next inspection, a Stop Use Order will be dropped on all receiving areas and the store won’t be able to get any new food items.
▪ Tiny’s Food Store, 8004 NW 103rd St., Hialeah Gardens — The milk in the food service area next to the coffee station wasn’t just not cool enough, it was 68 to 69 degrees, measuring almost room temperature.
In the retail area, the inspector saw “a heavy accumulation of dust, debris and food residue under racks inside walk-in cooler.”
This seems like a small problem that could turn large in a flash. “Food service area; lights over exposed food not shielded nor seem shatter-resistant. Bulbs inside small hot-holding case neither shielded nor seem shatter-resistant.”
▪ Venefood USA, 13444 SW 131st St., South Miami-Dade — No approved sewage system, no approved water system, no hot water at the employee handwashing sink.
Venefood has until Dec. 19 to get it together.