Food

Flies in the kitchen, lies on the menu, roaches at KFC. Why these restaurants failed

A statewide look at Florida’s top restaurant violations for 2017-18

Restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. Here are the top ten violations inspectors found between 2017-18 in Florida restaurant kitchens.
Up Next
Restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. Here are the top ten violations inspectors found between 2017-18 in Florida restaurant kitchens.

Moving parts in the form of rodents, roaches and flies dominate the eight Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach restaurants on this week’s “Sick and Shut Down List.” One well-known chain made the list on grease and grime.

What follows comes directly from inspections done by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. We don’t control who gets inspected (but, you can by filing a complaint here) or how strictly. We report without passion or prejudice, but with a smidge of humor.

In alphabetical order:

Cafe Med by Bice, 2096 NE Second St., Deerfield Beach — More like Cafe Med by Bugs during Thursday’s inspection.

Bugs on the ground: “25 live roaches at 6 door cold holding drawers at cookline. One live roach walking on floor by grill. One live roach under steam table. One live roach behind oven. One live roach under small prep table near fryer at end of cookline. One live roach in electrical panel cabinet No. 7 in front line area. One live roach behind the candy stop in rear prep area. One live roach walking on wall between the prep coolers in rear prep area. One live roach under Hobart mixer.”

Easier to count because they weren’t moving were the “10 dead roaches at six-door cold holding drawers at cookline. One dead roach in electrical panel cabinet No. 7 in front line area. Two dead roaches near the prep sink table in the rear prep area.”

Bugs in the air: “Five live flying insects near handwash sink on south side of cookline. Three live flying insects under the prep sink in rear prep area. Nineteen live flying insects in drink station, flying around and two landing on box of cups. Fifteen live flying insects at bar.

In the middle of all of this, an employee “cracked raw shell eggs that dripped and then handled ready-to-eat” ham and a clean plate without washing his hands. That’s less ham-and-eggs than ham-and-salmonella.

Speaking of handwashing, not much was being done at the bar without soap or a way to dry hands.

Hollandaise sauce should be kept at 135 degrees to keep it from turning into Sick Sauce. This hollandaise was at 89 degrees and led the list of food thrown out for dangerously bad temperature care.

Hollandaise sauce, cooked potatoes, mascarpone (in two coolers), sausage, egg whites , liquid egg, ham (in two coolers), tomatoes, lobster, sausage, cheeses (in two coolers), salmon, beef, tomatoes.

The sugar container next to the slicer had “soil residue.”

Oh, and Cafe Med lied. Their menu/menu board states red snapper and yellow tail snapper are served, but there was no evidence of either or an invoice in the last 30 days saying either had been received. “Red snapper substituted with Snapper fillets as per chef.

Cafe Med recovered to pass a Saturday re-inspection.

Corner Porch, 85 SE Sixth Ave., Delray Beach — The dishwasher wasn’t sanitizing at all. So, the Porch had to set up the three-compartment sink to sanitize. Not ideal, but it’s something.

Not as easy to address were the roaches.

“Five live roaches on the floor under the kitchen stove. Three live roaches on the floor under the prep cooler. One live roach on the floor between the stove and prep cooler. One live roach on the floor under the triple sink. Two live roaches inside gaskets of the cold holding drawers in the back building storage room. One live roach on the glass door cooler in the back building storage room.”

“No paper towels or mechanical hand drying device provided at the handwash sink in back building storage room.”

“Gaskets with slimy/mold-like build-up on cookline reach-in coolers.”

Corner Porch got shut down on Wednesday, but was back open after barely passing Thursday’s re-inspection.

Kentucky Fried Chicken, 17701 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens — This place had trouble passing inspections cleanly, so to speak, failing to do so on four of the last five inspections in 2016-2018. But no shutdowns.

On Thursday, the chicken joint got fried, died and laid to the side.

Let’s start with “Approximately 100-plus roach excrement present on the wall, by hand wash sink, and the three-compartment sink.”

Who left that behind? “Approximately seven live roaches crawling on computer desk next to hot holding unit holding food, and a bread tray, and two live roaches crawling on the floor under bread tray, and two live roach crawling between wall/tile cracks.” There also were “two dead roaches under hot box unit in the kitchen and one dead roach by soda machine dispenser.”

Did you want an orange soda or a Coke? “Accumulation of black/green mold-like substance on/around soda dispensing nozzles.”

And somebody needs to pick up a cloth, marry it with some cleaning solution and get wax on/wax off — or grease on/grease off —working.

“Accumulation of food debris/grease on food-contact surface. Inside the hot holding units for chicken, holding chicken in containers; all condiments containers holding units are soiled.”

“Grease accumulated on kitchen floor and/or under cooking equipment. Throughout the kitchen areas.”

“Wall soiled with accumulated grease, food debris, and/or dust. Throughout the kitchen areas.”

“Ceiling/ceiling tiles/vents soiled with accumulated dust, or mold-like substance.”

After all that, do you really care that the front reach-in cooler had standing water?

This Kentucky Fried was back battling Popeye’s on Friday.

Leamington Hotel, 307 NE First St., Miami — There wasn’t much wrong with the food service area here (the hotel doesn’t have a proper restaurant), but what was wrong on Tuesday really wasn’t right.

Then again, when you try to serve food in a place under construction, there’s liable to be problems beyond a thin layer of construction dust on tables or food.

Such as no handwashing sink. Think employees could use the three-compartment sink, usually used for washing cookware? Leamington didn’t have one of those, either.

So, of course, “employee began working with food, handling clean equipment or utensils, or touching unwrapped single-service items without first washing hands.”

And, you also get, “Food-contact surfaces not sanitized after cleaning, before use. Do not use equipment/utensils not properly sanitized. Observed equipment not being washed, rinsed and sanitized no three compartment sink or dish machine available.”

The inspector closed this two-star hotel’s food service on Tuesday and kept it closed Wednesday. There’s no evidence a third inspection has taken place.

Muscle Maker Grill, 230 S. Federal Hwy., Deerfield Beach — Tuesday’s inspection made us feel a little uneasy. South Florida doesn’t need the already economy-sized roaches trying to protein up, living longer and stronger.

But the inspector saw “20 live roaches under the prep table in the rear prep area. One live roach walking on top of prep table at cookline. Three live roaches on gaskets in the reach-in freezer in the rear prep area. Twelve live roaches under the garbage can next to the three-compartment sink. Two live roaches under the rolling cart next to handwash sink in rear prep area. One live roach under the small prep cooler at the cookline next to entry door to back prep area. Ten live roaches inside unused cold holding drawers at cookline. Then live roaches inside cabinet next to flip top cooler at cookline. One live roach under steam table at cookline.”

Some didn’t make it, such as the “10 dead roaches on ground under cookline equipment” and “30-plus dead roaches inside cabinet next to prep cooler at cookline.” Another five down by the three-compartment sink, five corpses by the water heater, five by dry storage shelving...

In case you missed it in the middle of that roach roll call, “Food-contact surfaces not sanitized after cleaning, before use. Do not use equipment/utensils not properly sanitized. Live roach walking on top of prep table in the rear prep area contaminating a food contact surface.”

Also, the inspector called the reach-in cooler gaskets “soiled.” How? “Gaskets soiled with dead roaches at reach-in cooler and reach-in freezer in rear prep area. Walk-in cooler door handle soiled.”

Muscle Maker flexed well enough on Wednesday to re-open.

Myapapaya, 1040 Bayview Dr., Fort Lauderdale — Catchy name.

Myapapaya had “Approximately 20 small flying insects on a vent and approximately 50 more on walls of the hallway leading to exterior. Approximately 20 small flying insects on the walls of prep area. Approximately five small flying insects on walls at triple sink.”

But, the inspector noted, none landed on food, food contact surfaces or utensils at Myapapaya.

A Stop Sale got dropped on lentil soup that didn’t properly cool overnight at Myapapaya because it was in a “tall, tightly closed, plastic container. Reviewed proper cooling procedures.”

The inspector did find handwash sink problems all around Myapapaya, such as one removed from the food prep/dishwashing area, one used as a dump sink (not that kind of dump, food) and for washing a blender and a third blocked by a cleaning bucket and hood filter.

Myapapaya’s ice machine had an “accumulation of black/green mold-like substance.”

Myapapaya got back open on Wednesday with extra time granted to deal with some problems.

Pirates Raw Bar & Grill, 17850 W. Dixie Hwy, North Miami Beach — Two out of three is bad when you’re talking about failing inspections. Especially when the furry creatures are around the food.

On Thursday, the inspector saw rodent rub marks in a top corner of the dry storage area and “approximately eight shiny, moist rodent droppings in dry storage area with food stored at this area.”

Not to be outnumbered, “eight live roaches in the kitchen area between wall and electrical pipes” and three who didn’t make it under the dishwasher machine.

Food in the walk-in cooler fixed two days ago had no date. In-use tongs had no home, so got stuck on an equipment door handle (with all that hand bacteria) between uses.

“Interior of oven has heavy accumulation of black substance/grease/food debris.” Two phrases, two words each: rubber gloves, Easy Off.

Friday, the inspector came back and instead of shiny, moist droppings, saw “10 dry, but not crumbly rodent droppings under dry storage shelves” and “rodent run marks on kitchen wall. The ones on dry storage were painted.”

A live roach on a kitchen wall and four dead ones on shelf atop the prep table in front of the oven provided enough reason for another F.

Pirates passed a re-re-inspection on Saturday.

Silver Pon to Go, 5100 W. Commercial Blvd., Tamarac — The egg rolls in the walk-in cooler Wednesday didn’t have a date on them. Wonder if the vermin cared.

“Three fresh rodent droppings found in kitchen next to handwash sink. Approximately 10 fresh rodent droppings found underneath food preparation table in kitchen. Seven fresh rodent droppings found underneath three-compartment sink in kitchen. Three fresh rodent droppings found in kitchen next to Hotpoint refrigerator and five dry rodent droppings found in dry storage between General Electric refrigerators.”

The inspector watched someone wash their hands in the three-compartment sink (could be worse) but with cold water and no soap (problem).

“Observed wall throughout kitchen soiled with old food residue.”

Silver Pon passed re-inspection.

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.
  Comments