Food & Drink

Penn Dutch holding ‘going out of business’ sales after inspections turn up listeria

After listeria was found at two locations, Penn Dutch will close its Hollywood location after 44 years and its Margate location after 15 years, the fresh meat, poultry and seafood seller announced Tuesday night.

“We will not re-open [the] Hollywood store. ... We are closing our Margate store. ... We have not made any decisions on our Sunrise store.”

What followed were bargains such as skirt steaks for $3.99 per pound, neck bones for 99 cents per pound and BOGO for escargot.

The Hollywood Penn Dutch store, 3950 N. 28th Ter., has been closed since Aug. 27, when Florida Department of Agriculture testing of various foods came back positive for listeria. Ag Department inspectors swabbed and sponged equipment at the Margate location, 3201 N. State Rd. 7, on Sept. 9. On Monday came the truth and consequences of that inspection: listeria.

Stop Use Orders got slammed on various equipment and store areas, including all wheeled dollies, black plastic trays, the deli, the special cuts room and the chicken production room. On Tuesday, the listeria findings meant deli meats, seafood, cheeses, poultry in cold display cases were thrown out along with all food in the deli slicing room, the sandwich prep station and the reach-in coolers along the northern deli wall.

Listeria crashed both Penn Dutch locations in March, causing 1,928 pounds of food to be trashed in Hollywood and 1,491 pounds to be trashed in Margate.

Listeria sickens 1,600 Americans each year, killing about 260, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Usually, it brings fever and diarrhea, but can be fatal, especially to senior citizens and children under the age of 5. It can cause stillbirths and miscarriages in pregnant women.

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.