Food & Drink

Ants in the coffee pot, a Sedano’s (twice), 3 7-Elevens among grocers failing inspection

UPDATE: The inspection for the 7-Eleven on Cypress Road in Pompano Beach has been added.

Ice machines with gunk and mold, mice at a food bank, bad food and dirty hands abound in this edition of Gross Grocers, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach food handlers that failed inspection.

Quick clarification: This is NOT our Sick and Shut Down List of restaurants that fail state inspection. That comes out every Monday (Tuesday, if other news interferes).

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What follows comes from Florida Department of Agriculture inspections of supermarkets, bodegas, minimarts, convenience stores, food processors and food storage places. We don’t control who gets inspected or how strictly. If you want to file a complaint about a place, click here. We report without passion or prejudice, but with humor on BOGO special.

Alphabetical order seems fair.

Central American Products Corp, 3305 NW Seventh Ave. Circle, Miami: This “perishable processing place” lacked hand sanitizer at its production area handwashing sink.

Also, cleaning cookware must be a low priority job. “Cheese residue in cheese grater that has been stored uncleaned in storage area.”

The three-compartment sink drain had a direct connection. That’s a violation because that can send a sewage backup into your sink that’s supposed to be for washing cookware.

Community Food Store, 401 NW 27th Ave., Pompano Beach: We’ve been trying to tell you about the machines.

“Accumulation of black soil inside dispensing nozzle of red and green slushie machines.”

“Accumulation of insects flying around sandwich prep station and ice machine.”

There was no soap or way to dry your hands at the backroom handwashing sink.

They cleaned spoons, spatulas and utensils, then put them “in a container with buildup of debris and old food inside.”

Exprezo, 501 E. Atlantic Blvd., Pompano Beach: A successful re-inspection Tuesday made up for a Sept. 9 inspection fail that included, “Rodent excreta on shelf in front of the (air conditioning) unit.”

If you see that violation in the back area, what you don’t want to see accompanying it is “Back area/ cashier area...bucket of sugar stored on the floor and not at least six inches off of the floor.”

Empanadas, cheese rolls and meat pies by the cashier weren’t being kept warm, between 91 and 117 degrees when they needed to be at least 135 degrees. Basura.

Flowers Baking Company of Miami, 2681 NW 104th Ct., Doral: “Seven birds flying around area of warehouse where damaged breads are kept.”

Fruit Stand by Brothers, 15515 SW 177th Ave., South Miami-Dade: “Food employee observed using bare hands to touch washed oranges and placing in juicer to make juice for a customer.”

Stop Sales got dropped on packaged food items being sold in retail shelves from an unapproved source: Milne’s old fashioned guava jelly, Don Anecio oils/olives/vinegar, Rancho El Guajiro honey.

“Food employee observed washing and rinsing utensils used to serve ingredients for smoothies, but not sanitizing prior to use.”

And, in the food service area, “Detergent and sanitizer dispensing tubes, at ware wash sink near the ice cream machines, were found to have green mold-like grime encrusted on the interior part of the tubes, where the solutions must pass through.”

That would seem to dilute the effectiveness of the detergent and sanitizer.

But most of the problems seemed to involve the ice machine on the back porch.

“Black mold-like grime encrusted around ice chute and interior housing of ice machine” and “no hand sink available to wash hands prior to bagging ice at the ice machines located on back porch.”

Combine that with “no microbiological analysis available for store-packed ice sold at retail” and Stop Use Orders crushed the ice machine and ice bagging.

Said orders were lifted Friday.

Import Mex, 1240 W. 13th St., Riviera Beach: This is four straight Gross Grocers reports for this rodent-infested place. That’s enough to be called “Family Dollar.”

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“There was a heavy accumulation of mice excreta observed on the floor throughout the warehouse. All bay doors were observed open to outside air with no barrier to prevent pest from entering the establishment in the warehouse.

“Spilled beans and flour were observed on the floor in multiple areas of the warehouse. Multiple dead roaches were observed on the floor next to the front bay doors in the warehouse.”

No Stop Use Orders issued, though.

Palm Beach County Food Bank, 525 Gator Dr., Lantana: Even non-profits trying to feed the hungry must pass inspection.

This one didn’t. Blame Pixie and Dixie.

“Four cans of tomato juices were observed in direct contact with mice excreta on the pallet inside of the warehouse storing canned goods.”

“A heavy accumulation of mice excreta was observed on the floor throughout the warehouse storing canned goods...An accumulation of mice excreta was observed on a counter in the non-functioning kitchen in the warehouse storing dry goods.”

Redland Exxon, 14695 SW 216th St., South Miami-Dade: No hot water at the employee restroom hand sink.

Think about that as you read, “food employee observed touching loaf of cuban bread with butter with bare hands near the freezer chest.”

And the employee couldn’t use the handwashing sink by the self-serve coffee machines. No soap or paper towels there.

“Jam filled and plain bread pastries found in plastic container on counter near register were determined to be from an unapproved source, where invoice had no identifying information as to who and where the products were made.”

Right Stop Food Store, 592 SW 27th Ave., Fort Lauderdale: Right Stop was right on time during a Wednesday focused inspection.

But that was necessary after a previous failed inspection starred “live roaches observed on shelf, equipment and utensils inside cabinet under the three-compartment sink.”

“Dust and soil debris on retail shelves throughout area.”

“Clean tongs displayed to serve pickled sausage, pickled eggs and pickles stored inside container with accumulation of dried food debris and soil inside.”

Ew.

Sedano’s, 7208 Southgate Blvd., North Lauderdale: Occasionally, one of the prime South Florida supermarket chains (Publix, Winn-Dixie, Sedano’s) has a store that fails inspection. Never does the same store in the chain fail consecutive inspections.

Until Sept. 6 and 20 at this Sed’s.

Both inspections had “flies too numerous to count” throughout the deli and meat area, “black mold-like stains” in the deli/meat area ice machine chute and “water drops leaking onto raw beef stored under condenser unit in reach-in cold display case.”

Also in that display case on Sept. 6, a serrano ham with an Aug. 29 expiration date sat for sale. Other serrano ham, along with salami and bulk off-the-bone ham didn’t have a date. Nobody could say when it was open. Basura.

“Food employee observed inserting un-sanitized probe thermometer inside yellow rice to verify temperature.” Goodbye, rice.

“Encrusted old meat residue” described what remained on a meat slicer, lunch meat slicer and on a band saw’s wheels. “Old brown meat residue” was inside the canals and augers of two meat grinders.

The ice chute and interior basin to ice maker had “white mold-like cast/film and black mold-like stains.” That got a Stop Use Order.

“Old food and stuck-on grease found on knives in knife holder by warewash sink.” Generally, folks expect knives in knife holders to be clean.

Apparently, Inspector Laura Sanchez’s return for the re-inspection caught management and staff as off guard as a surprise birthday party four months before your birthday.

The ice machine mold-like stains and the old meat residue returned as problems.

As for a full list of the food tossed for temperature abuse – kept at temperatures that create a red carpet for foodborne illness bacteria – we don’t have the time to make it and you don’t have the time to read it.

Oh, yes, we do and yes, you do:

Swiss cheese; sliced ham; sliced swiss; milk; cooked black beans; cooked lentil soup; cooked pork chunks; containers of chicken salad; ham salad; ham/cheese sandwiches; custards; bagged Caesar salads; angel hair slaw; chicken Caesar; Sante Fe chicken salad; cut romaine; cut watermelon chunks; cantaloupe chunks; watermelon quarters; sliced turkey packs; hot dog packs; sausages; chicken hot dogs; turkey bologna; beef bologna; ham/cheese Lunchables; turkey ham packs; sliced salami packs; serrano ham packs; diced ham cubes; brown sugar ham; classic ham; large cubed ham; and ham steaks.

Back in the warewash area, a roach walked up the wall by the walk-in cooler.

Stop Use Orders got dropped on all processing areas, the deli area’s walk-in cooler and display case, a hot holding table, meat section, sandwich station and 6-foot produce/salad section, melon case, Alto Shams/Hot Unit.

Inspector Sanchez released the Stop Use Orders on Monday.

7-Eleven, 1600 N. Federal Hwy., Hollywood: This Slurpee Stop passed re-inspection Wednesday.

Before that was the failed inspection with a “container of whole milk used in milk creamer coffee display not discarded after maximum seven days.”

Packaged chicken sandwiches got tossed after the hot case failed to keep them warm.

Food service and backroom handwashing sinks were blocked. Food employees weren’t wearing hair restraints while working with “exposed foods.”

7-Eleven, 1500 S. Cypress Rd., Pompano Beach: You can’t have rodent bait uncovered. So, “Snap traps being used in retail area” is a problem.

This might be the first time we’ve seen an inspector triple up on an adjective in a citation. “Heavy, heavy, heavy build up on warewashing sink, all three compartments with black mold-like substance and greasy residue.”

“Several fruit flies in the back area around soda boxes and mop sink area.”

“Mop in retail area leaning against snack rack.” Lazy mop.

In the “small room with a reach-in freezer, the walls are not finished.”

7-Eleven, 5600 N. Nob Hill Rd., Sunrise: This Big Gulp Bodega passed re-inspection Monday two weeks after another inspection that included, in the retail area, “bottom of coffee containers and unit found with ants (too numerous to count) crawling throughout.”

Also, the coffee dispenser spouts were “encrusted in old coffee residue and underside dispensing area of hot cheese and chili dispenser with stuck-on old food product residue.”

They tossed pepperoni pizza, chicken tenders and cheese sticks that the hot holding unit wasn’t so hot at holding.

“Food employee did not wash his hands immediately before engaging in open food service.” Then again, the handwashing sink next to the sandwich press didn’t have hot water.

Also, somebody needs to grab a rag and some 409 in this joint.

“Interior door cavities, bottom shelf and door wall of table top ovens with grease and carbon buildup, not cleaned every 24 hours as required.”

The food shelves and potato chip rack out front and the food and supply storage shelf in the back each had “stuck on dust and soil residue.”

“Food service area, exterior of both cold units, and cabinets, bottom shelf to hot dog machine and inside the bread drawer found with product buildup and grease accumulation.”

Product buildup? No wonder the ants made this place their Central Perk.

724 Sun Mart, 7811 W. Sample Rd., Coral Springs: “Rodent droppings on bottom cabinet under slush machine.”

Usually, the machine issues resemble this citation, “Soda machine, coffee machine and cappuccino machine nozzles with buildup of sticky substance.”

“Reach-in storage freezer with black mold-like buildup on bottom ledge of doors.”

Soriano’s Quick Mart, 15200 Sunset Dr., South Miami-Dade: Hope you didn’t get anything to drink here. Or, if you did, got it without ice.

“Black mold-like grime encrusted on ice chute, interior housing of ice machine, and plastic divider that holds ice in ice machine.”

“Old yellow food residue encrusted on slicer blade.”

In the back room, the “hand sink next to the ware wash sink was blocked by the dolly cart and stand used to fill ice bags.”

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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