Sep 08, 2023

4 South Florida restaurants shut: Issues included live mouse, 'pork thawing in standing water bucket'

Two out of four South Florida restaurants temporarily ordered shut last week by state inspectors had rodent activity, including a “live mouse in hallway” and wall damage caused by one gnawing “through wall insulation.”

Separate issues included flies landing on onions, a bag of bread and dining-room tables, as well as temperature-spoiled food and “pork thawing in standing water bucket.”

The South Florida Sun Sentinel typically highlights restaurant inspections conducted by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Broward and Palm Beach counties. We cull through inspections that happen weekly and spotlight places ordered shut for “high-priority violations,” such as improper food temperatures or dead cockroaches.

Any restaurant that fails a state inspection must stay closed until it passes a follow-up. If you spotted a possible violation and wish to file a complaint, contact Florida DBPR. (But please don’t contact us: The Sun Sentinel doesn’t inspect restaurants.)

4713 S. Flamingo Road

Ordered shut: Aug. 25; reopened Aug. 26

Why: Four violations (two high-priority), including at least 82 live flies “landing on rice on the floor” in the men’s restroom, “landing on wall” of the women’s restroom, “landing on walls” in the dining-room hallway, “landing on dining tables and windows” and “on wall at three-compartment sink” in the kitchen.

One employee was seen “placing raw chicken inside meat processor” then walking over to a dish area and grabbing a clean container and opening “door to ice machine to retrieve ice,” without washing their hands or changing gloves between tasks. Finally, the state noted vent and ceiling tiles soiled with “dust and food debris” in the “main kitchen dish and prep area at stove.”

The state spotted zero issues during its next-day visit and let the fast-food chain reopen.

610 S. Dixie Highway

Ordered shut: Aug. 24; reopened Aug. 25

Why: 10 violations (two high-priority), including at least 65 rodent droppings “on top of dish machine in dish area,” “in pre-cleaning sink to the left of dish machine,” and “on the floor under dish machine and sink,” with no doors separating the cook line from the dishwashing area.

Next to the droppings were other telltale signs of a rodent: “particles on the floor” from “gnawed through wall insulation” between the triple sink and dishwashing machine.

The state also red-flagged the inside of the dishwashing machine for being “soiled with food debris, mold-like substance or slime,” and found it was “not sanitizing properly.” The operator said the “machine will be removed.”

The state cleared the restaurant to reopen the next day after finding zero new issues during a second inspection. The diner was previously ordered shut twice last fall.

1216 S. Dixie Highway

Ordered shut: Aug. 23; reopened Aug. 24

Why: 17 violations (six high-priority), including at least 82 rodent droppings “in storage room in hallway,” “on floor in front of freezer unit in kitchen,” “on floor in front of three-door cooler in kitchen,” “on shelf above hand sink in kitchen” and “on shelf … with to-go containers.”

The state also cited “one live mouse in hallway,” which “went in storage room in hallway in dining room” before disappearing. (The report said: “Unable to find.”)

The inspection also spotted three cockroaches in the kitchen, crawling “on wall above clean equipment,” “under shelf above prep table” and “on floor under prep table.”

The restaurant was ordered to stop selling and trash its goat, chicken, akra, cooked sauce and cut cabbage “due to temperature abuse.”

Sanitation and disrepair issues included “wall soiled with accumulated grease, food debris and/or dust throughout kitchen,” “cracks in flooring of kitchen,” pork stored “on floor in kitchen,” and “pork thawing in standing water bucket.”

Despite finding two high-priority violations and six basic ones during a reinspection the next day, the restaurant was allowed to reopen. It previously was ordered shut in April for dead roaches and rodent dropping woes.

14820 Griffin Road

Ordered shut: Aug. 22; reopened Aug. 23

Why: Two violations (one high-priority), including about 49 flies flying “around register” near the front counter and “around ice machine” in the kitchen, and landing “on bag of ready-to-eat bread” and “on onions inside plastic bin on food storage shelf.” Other flies landed “on prep table” in the kitchen and on tables and “soda beverage dispenser machine” in the dining area.

State inspectors greenlit the fast-food restaurant’s reopening after a second inspection yielded zero issues.

Sign up for email newsletters

4713 S. Flamingo RoadOrdered shut:Why:610 S. Dixie HighwayOrdered shut:Why:1216 S. Dixie HighwayOrdered shut:Why:14820 Griffin RoadOrdered shut:Why