State orders restaurants to stop selling food & customers complain about illness after eating buffet

Restaurant questions 43 violations inspector found

WEST PALM BEACH - The state's latest inspection reports show several restaurants were ordered to stop selling products that posed a health threat. Plus, the pizzeria with the most violations this week says there is not a problem with their kitchen. They say there is an issue with the state inspector.

"These are the filthy bathrooms," Carmela Artale said.
Artale and her husband own Alberto's Pizza and Restaurant at 4064 Forest Hill Blvd in West Palm Beach. They were so shocked by their recent inspection, they wanted to show the Consumer Watchdog around their kitchen.

"I wanted to call somebody to say is this for real?" Artale remarked.

Inspectors found 43 health and sanitation violations, the most this week for restaurants in our area.

"It was scary. I thought I was going to be closed," Artale said.

Seven violations were considered a high priority, mostly for temperature issues. The restaurant said it was lunch time and they were opening and closing the freezers and fridges. Click here to read the report.

Fifteen violations were intermediate, and twenty-one basic.

During their previous five inspections, the restaurant had no more than two violations per visit.

"I was mortified because we've been in this business almost forty years," Artale explained.

While Alberto's had the most violations in our area in the latest round of inspections, other restaurants with fewer violations were told to throw away food.

Customers complain of sickness at Japanese buffet
Inspectors typically inspect a restaurant twice a year. They've been to Shin Ju Japanese Buffet, 7875 Glades Road in Boca Raton, eight times including just last week.

Public records obtained by the Consumer Watchdog show a customer said they began vomiting after eating the buffet on August 6th. When inspectors visited the restaurant on August 9th, they found thirteen violations including five that were a high priority.

There were several issues with raw food and it's storage near ready to eat food. An inspector also found chicken sitting out and shrimp thawing in standing water. The state considers that a potentially hazardous way to thaw food.

During another visit that same day, inspectors found no violations.

In June, a customer said they went to the hospital after eating the raw oysters at the buffet. When the state followed up, they found 59 violations including nineteen that were a high priority.

The restaurant corrected many of the problems by the next day.

The Consumer Watchdog's repeated calls for comment were not returned.

If you get sick after eating or have a complaint about what you see inside, report it to the state so they can follow-up with an inspection.

Stop sales issued at several restaurants forcing food to be thrown out
At Haos Pan Asian Cuisine, 2677 Forest Hill Blvd #119 in West Palm Beach, two stop sales were issued for potentially hazardous rice. The restaurant had the second most violations. Click here to read the report.

At Newport Cafe, 2677 Forest Hill Blvd in West Palm Beach, a stop sale was issued. The owner blamed an iced up condenser, and immediately threw out the products. The owner said he gets maintenance on his fridge every three months, and they were in between maintenance visits. The condenser is already fixed. Click here to read the report.

At Boca Diner, 2801 N Federal Highway in Boca Raton, inspectors found 5 live roaches and 10 rodent droppings. All issues were corrected on site. Click here to read the report.

In response, management issued the following statement: "Regarding our latest Health Inspection Report , we would like to address a few issues about that report with you. We have been in business for the past 22 years at this location, and have never  had any issues with food poisoning or any other health related problems. Unfortunately, whenever a new inspector comes in for the first time, they are not familiar with our establishment, and seem to be a bit aggressive and sometimes hasty in judging what they see.  It is mentioned in the current report that a "stop sale" occurred. What the inspector found was a small container of  hot soup that the cleaning guy found sitting out (the night before) and had unwittingly put it into the cooler not knowing it was supposed to be thrown out.  The chef had not seen it to throw it out yet that morning. All other fifty foods that were supposed to be in that cooler were at perfect temperatures.  The inspector claimed to have seen old rodent droppings on the floor. We have never had any rodents in our establishment.  What the inspector saw there on the floor and mistook for droppings were red lentil beans that had fallen to the floor and gotten wet and turned dark because they roll under the refrigerator and with the flashlight under there that is what it looks to be, but it is not. As far as the issue with roaches, the inspector came one hour after a large delivery had just arrived.  The inspector saw a live roach just where the delivery of more than 30 boxes of goods were placed that had just come from a warehouse truck.  Many times bugs come from these deliveries from their huge warehouses. We have regular pest control procedures in place for this reason.  Finally, if the health inspector had found our restaurant infested with pests or some hazardous temperature or cleanliness issues, they would have shut us down, but they did not and that is why our violations were listed on our report as "CORRECTED ON SITE." 

At Olgas Table and Talias Tuscan Table, at 4060 and 4070 N Dixie Highway in Boca Raton, a stop sale was issued for temperature issues with the pasta. The owner said it's the same restaurant, and he threw out the pasta immediately. He said the temperature issue could have gone either way, and that it's a family business and an honest mistake was made. Click to read the report for Olgas and Talias.

At Yahala Pita & Pizza, 2304 S. Military Trail Suite B in West Palm Beach, inspectors issued 3 stop sales. One was for roaches in a showcase near food. The other two were for temperature abuse and dented or rusted cans. Click here to read the report.

A restaurant spokesman said they are fixing the problems.

Want to know what inspectors found at your favorite restaurant? More than 200 new inspections were added to our database in this latest round of inspections. Click here to search.

The state recognizes restaurants that have a trend of no violations, but this week none were honored in our area. Click here to search restaurants that were recognized earlier this year.


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