More than thousand restaurants fined for repeatedly dirty kitchens; search our database of fines
10:30 PM, Nov 18, 2013
11:43 PM, Nov 18, 2013
WEST PALM BEACH - It's a dirty secret in the restaurant industry. Fines paid by thousands of businesses because their kitchens are not clean. The Consumer Watchdog dug through the data to find out the worst offenders. Since 2010, local restaurants paid more than $1.3 million dollars in fines.
Restaurant owners want you to see their clean, crisp dining area, but it's what customers don't see that food safety experts say could make you sick.
"People should really know that this is going on," said Fred Stein.
The Consumer Watchdog dug through state inspection records for this year, and found the restaurants fined the most have been fined before.
"That's really concerning," said Stein.
Boca Pita Express (7158 Beracasa Way in Boca Raton) is at the top of the list.
"The quality of the food is great. The service is great," said customer Dr. Lipman. "The state probably needs money, or the city, or whoever's doing the fining, you know how that goes."
Customers like Boca Pita Express, but state inspectors had concerns. The restaurant was fined $4,080 for potential cross-contamination of raw chicken that was over the cucumbers in the walk-in cooler, potentially hazardous cooked chicken that was held for more than 24 hours and not properly date marked. Inspectors also found rusted shelving & soiled material on the slicer.
"They came to me over here when I was in renovation," said Owner Eli Amsanem.
The state only fines restaurants that have repeat violations that they haven't fixed.
"They came the first time. They gave me some violation. I tried to correct it. I didn't have time to correct it. They came again. That's why I got this violation," said Amsanem.
Boca Pita Express also paid a fine in 2011.
"Everything has been corrected," said Amsanem. "I do owe the money. I have no money to pay it."