Food & Drink

Maggots on eggs, a paintbrush used for basting and a Sedano’s: grocer inspection fails

As our routines and refrigerators return to normal, let’s see what South Florida food sellers made our Gross Grocers list by failing Florida Department of Agriculture inspections.

We don’t control who gets inspected or how strictly. We report it without passion or prejudice, but with a hand-basket of humor.

In alphabetical order:

Charlie’s Happy Corn, 3273 Lake Worth Rd., Palm Springs — Only one problem besmirched the Dec. 21 inspection, but it’s a big one.

“No hot water provided at handwashing sink in only restroom” on a re-inspection from Nov. 16.

Columbia Produce, 2151 NW 13th Ave., Miami — No proof of approved water system and or approved sewage system.

Food Market, 1531 Broadway, Riviera Beach — When the inspector swung by on the day after Christmas, there were rodent droppings in a back room. The backroom restroom had no hand soap or way to dry one’s hands.

“Observed raw shell eggs stored on bottom prep table shelf, allowing maggots to form.”

Orange Bowl Sunoco, Flagler and 17th Avenue, Miami — Guess the Navarro across the street wasn’t open yet, seeing as how this place seemed short on supplies.

“Paint brush used for basting bread with butter” and “no hand soap provided near hand wash sink by three compartment sink.”

Ham sandwiches not only had been made the previous day, but were kept at too warm a temperature. As for old food hanging around, “deli slicer was observed with encrusted food particles and was last cleaned on the previous day according to employee.”

Panaderia Monarcas Morelia, 417 NW 16th St., Belle Glade — All other problems on Dec. 19 paled next to the volume of rodent dung.

In the food processing area, “Rodent droppings observed on the floor behind ovens and handwashing sink.” In the warewashing area, “Rodent droppings observed on floor behind chest freezer and by fridge. Live roach observed on fridge.” In the backroom, “Rodent droppings observed on floor of hallway that leads into mop sink and restroom. In small room containing mop sink, in employee restroom, in hallway that leads into customer restroom, in customer restroom and in small storage room with back door.”

Inspector Christian Acosta dropped Stop Use orders on the whole mess. If Acosta sees signs of pest infestation on the re-inspection, he’ll drop a Stop Use order on all processing equipment and on all exposed food items “until the infestation is eradicated.”

Price Choice Food Market, 109 N. State Rd. 7, Plantation — We got an “EW” early in this Dec. 28 inspection report with “Meat Department: observed chemicals being sprayed near and on raw beef in the walk-in cold room.”

That meat got thrown in the dumpster. But, considering this probably wasn’t the first time the chemicals got fired around the flesh food, now you have a possible reason if your Price Choice meat ever had a Formula 409 flavor.

Band saw cleaning apparently needs to happen at Price. The inspector saw the cold room band saw used to cut turkey, then pork without washing between those tasks. Fish got cut on a band saw at 7:30 a.m. and the saw wasn’t cleaned by noon.

Washing in general doesn’t seem to be a thing at Price: “Observed employee washing milk container in hand sink and not sanitizing.”

A bug zapper hung over the cutting board in the produce room. Where did they think the flying insects would fall once they got grilled?

Sedano’s Supermarket, 13794 SW 152nd St., South Miami-Dade — It wasn’t pretty at this Sed’s on Dec. 18. Pretty drippy, in fact.

“Condensing unit drain pipe found leaking onto products below inside the walk-in cooler near the walk-in freezer. Backroom produce condensing unit drain pipe and vents found to be leaking onto produce below and spraying leaking water to packaged produce. Boxes of cucumbers, tangerines, and packaged apples found stored underneath the leaking condensing unit inside the produce walk-in cooler.”

Meanwhile, in the deli, nobody could clean their hands.

“No hand wash sink available near deli slicer area, with the only sink available in the front meat section not conveniently located for employee in the deli area to use, as evidenced by observing food employees in deli area not washing their hands throughout inspection.”

Derelict slicer cleaning also plagued this Sedano’s.

“Old food residue encrusted on blades of meat tenderizer....found three deli slicers in use beyond the four-hour cleaning limit without stopping to wash, rinse, and sanitize....witnessed employee placing raw beef shank directly onto food scale without cleaning beyond four-hour limit.”

These slicers got cleaned, but would they have been had the inspector not pointed out the problem?

Speaking of old food, “found various deli meats (butterball turkey, butterball ham) without date marking within the reach-in cooler after 24 hours. Food establishment did not know when package was initially opened.”

Todo En Uno, 6601 W. Flagler St., West Miami-Dade — There was no handwash sink in the Bakery room and Todo has until Jan. 17 to install one.

Maybe grocers are cleaning ice machines better around town because this was the first one we saw on an inspection. “Observed buildup of mold and grime on food contact sections of the ice machine.”

In the kitchen and food service areas, the inspector saw “dry food particles encrusted on fryer, stove, grill, ovens, rice cookers, bakery equipment.”

University Mobil, 2185 N. University Dr., Sunrise — Sometimes, gas station sandwiches can be as bad as gas station sushi.

“Observed mold on breakfast sandwiches located on metal rack located in walk-in cooler.” They got tossed.

Not only do they store bottled beverages in the basic of a three-compartment sink, but some were “damaged and leaking.”

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.