Critical violations of state sanitation and safety laws observed by inspectors at five South Florida food businesses last week prompted the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation to cite the owners.
Chick-fil-A, 1560 W. Boynton Beach Blvd., Boynton Beach was cited Dec. 5 for 12 critical violations. According to state documents, infractions included: 44 live roaches and 20 dead roaches observed, a cooler interior was soiled with food residue; a bag of carrots was on the floor of a cooler; an employee was observed engaging in food preparation, handling clean equipment or utensils or touching unwrapped items without washing hands; garbage was on the ground and/or the pad around the dumpster; an employee was cutting cabbage with bare hands and the establishment had no approved alternative operating procedure in effect; there was soil buildup inside an ice bin and a lettuce cutter was on the floor.
After an exterminator visit, a Dec. 6 follow-up inspection found the roach infestation no longer existed.
General Manager Andrew Cleveland said the roach infestation was in the rear exterior of a cooler, in the motor. "There was no food exposure but it was something we had to get taken care of," Cleveland said Tuesday. "We opened the next morning."
Honduras Maya Restaurant, 69 N.W. 27 th Ave., Miami was cited Dec. 5 for a vermin infestation among other critical violations. They include: More than 100 fresh and dried rodent droppings, including more than 8 droppings in an open package of pasta. A stop order was issued for 20 gallons of soup that was not held at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or less for more than four hours; ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous food was prepared on site, held more than 24 hours and not properly date-marked; the hand wash sink lacked proper drying provisions; no proof of employee training was provided; soil buildup was observed in the ice bin and a container with no handle was used to dispense food that is not ready-to-eat.
The restaurant was allowed to re-open Dec. 6 after an inspector found no evidence of vermin. A telephone message left for the operator was not immediately returned.
Hibachi Buffet, 2313 S.E. Federal Highway, Stuart was cited Dec. 6 for 14 critical violations. They include: 11 dead roaches and 65 live roaches were observed, including 1 in a bag of to-go containers and 1 that fell out of the paper towel dispenser when a towel was dispensed; cold and hot foods were not held at proper temperatures; foods were not handled with minimum contact; thermometers, gauges and test kids were not provided; a stop sale order was issued on 36 pieces of raw fish/sashimi and for 8 pieces of shrimp that were not held at less than 41 degrees Fahrenheit for more than 4 hours; stuffed crab was not held at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above; an employee was cutting washed produce with bare hands; domestic strength RAID was sprayed on roaches during the inspection and the dish machine chlorine sanitizer was not at proper strength.
After an exterminator visit, the business was allowed to re-open Dec. 9. A restaurant manager declined to comment.
Pinolandia 3 Corporation, 10948 S.W. 184 th Street, Miami was cited Dec. 7 for 15 critical violations that included: Potentially hazardous food thawed in an improper manner at room temperature; there was improper storage of raw animal foods and ready-to-eat foods; food was stored on the floor; uncovered food was in dry storage; the inspector observed an employee prepare food, handle equipment or touch unwrapped goods without washing hands; the reach-in cooler was not cleaned prior to accumulation of soil residue; food contact surfaces were encrusted with grease and/or soil deposits; dead roaches were observed, along with more than 200 live roaches found throughout the kitchen by the prep line, water heater area, and back storeroom, all located in the kitchen; the business was operating without a current hotel and restaurant license; the manager lacked food manager certification and no proof of required employee training was provided.
The business re-opened Dec. 8 after a visit by a pest control company. A message left for the operator was not immediately returned.
Delicias Peruanas Seafood, 194 N.W. 36 th Street, Miami was cited Dec. 8 for 10 critical violations that include: Ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous food prepared on site, held more than 24 hours and not properly date-marked; beef was not held at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above; there was no conspicuously located thermometer in a holding unit; a microwave interior was soiled; the hand washing sink was in the kitchen and lacked cleanser and drying
provisions; more than 90 fresh rodent droppings found in a non-functioning, walk-in kitchen cooler that has no door and more than 40 fresh and dried rodent droppings were observed in a storage area; the operator told the inspector that rodents started coming in after a neighboring business closed; outer openings of the restaurant could not be properly sealed when the business was closed and the manager lacked proof of food manager certification.
The restaurant was found to have met inspection standards on Dec. 9. A message left for the owner was not immediately returned.
The Crime & Safety blog reports on inspections of South Florida dining spots each week as the state pursues its goal to review Florida's 45,000 licensed restaurants twice each year.
A state spokeswoman has said it is not the number of critical violations that will cause a restaurant to be temporarily shut down, but rather the nature of what an inspector finds that merits closing a business.
After a restaurant is shuttered, an inspector typically visits again within 24 hours and continues to visit until violations are resolved and the business can reopen. Repeat critical violations can lead to fines of $500 to $1,000 per instance in a future administrative complaint levied by the state.
If a bad dining experience makes you feel ill, it's easy to complain to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation by calling 850-487-1395 or by filing a report online at MyFloridaLicense.com.
But beware: this isn't the place for personal vendettas. False reports can lead to misdemeanor charges.
And if you haven't checked out a bistro's inspection history online before making a reservation, state law requires restaurants to provide customers with a copy.