Rodent droppings and takeout containers in restrooms, spatulas in a dirty water bucket and “old food stuck to clean dishware” were among the issues that forced state inspectors to temporarily shut six South Florida restaurants last week.
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.)
Okeechobee Prime Barbecue, West Palm Beach
2888 Shawnee Ave.
Ordered shut: Sept. 29; not yet reopened pending second inspection
Why: Three violations (two high-priority), including “establishment operating with no potable running water” to the three-compartment sink and handwashing sink.
An employee was also dinged for coming in from outside a truck and donning gloves without washing hands first.
The state has yet to post its follow-up inspection.
Oishii Japanese Restaurant, Boca Raton
141 NW 20th St., Suite C-2
Ordered shut: Sept. 28; reopened Sept. 29
Why: 14 violations (two high-priority), including six flies swarming around and “landing on container of oil” on the dry storage shelf.
An employee was seen marinating raw chicken then proceeding to leave through “kitchen exit door, re-enter kitchen and begin to wipe down prep table without washing (hands) and putting on gloves.” The state spotted an employee’s personal “cup of beverage on prep table.”
Finally, the report counted multiple instances of poor sanitation, such as “mold-like substance on top and sides of interior of ice machine,” “reach-in cooler doors soiled with food debris,” “spatulas being stored in 5-gallon bucket (of) dirty water on the floor” and “standing water on the floor at ice machine.”
The restaurant reopened Sept. 29 after the state found just one intermediate violation.
1760 N. University Drive, Suite 2
Ordered shut: Sept. 28; reopened Sept. 29
Why: Six violations (three high-priority), including 41 live flies swarming around the kitchen and landing “on packets of paper towels and straws,” “on shelf holding paper towels and straws” and “around handwash sink next to food prep sink.”
Other flies landed “on boxes of carbonated beverage shelf next to office,” “on packet of paper bags on shelf next to exit door,” “on cardboard boxes in dishwashing area” and “on wall in office area.”
The state let the fast-casual chain reopen the following day when a second inspected yielded no new issues.
Hazel’s Brunch Bar, Lauderhill
2992 1/2 NW 55th Ave.
Ordered shut: Sept. 27; reopened Sept. 28
Why: 10 violations (three high-priority), including eight rodent droppings around the kitchen, specifically “in cabinet at front counter,” “behind steam well,” “behind mop sink” and “underneath three-compartment sink.”
Additionally, three rodent droppings were spotted behind a “reach-in freezer chest located in hallway by restroom.”
The report also noted multiple issues such as a bathroom “not completely enclosed with tight-fitting, self-closing doors,” a waffle iron “soiled with grease, food debris, dirt, slime or dust” and “buildup of grease on the floor next to the fryer throughout kitchen.”
A reinspection the next day found just one basic violation and the restaurant was cleared to reopen.
Moby’s Fish & Chicken, Miramar
3356 S. University Drive
Ordered shut: Sept. 26; reopened Sept. 27
Why: 22 violations (five high-priority), including 28 flies swarming around and landing on “clean food containers in dishwashing area,” “on takeout containers in dry storage areas” and “on walls in cookline.”
The restaurant was ordered to stop selling and trash its chicken gizzards, chicken wings, whole milk and shrimp “due to temperature abuse.”
The state also red-flagged several sanitation problems, including “old food stuck to clean dishware,” “floor underneath cooking equipment soiled with heavy grease” and “heavy grease buildup on deep fryers.”
Despite finding two high-priority and three intermediate violations the next day, the state let the restaurant reopen.
China City, Pembroke Pines
1669 N. Hiatus Road
Ordered shut: Sept. 25; reopened Sept. 26
Why: 23 violations (seven high-priority), including 64 rodent droppings “on hot water tank,” “next to mop sink,” “underneath three-compartment sink in dishwashing area,” “adjacent to mop sink,” “underneath cooking equipment” and “in restroom.”
The restaurant was ordered to stop selling and toss its cooked rice, noodles, cooked shrimp and dumplings “due to temperature abuse,” as well as five “badly dented cans of hoisin sauce at dry storage area.”
The inspection noted one employee who came from outside handled food “without washing hands first.” It also caught an employee’s personal “medication stored on shelf above food preparation table,” and employee “cell phones and cigarettes stored on food preparation tables.”
Finally, the state spotted multiple sanitation issues, such as “takeout containers stored in restroom,” “ceiling tiles missing over walk-in cooler,” “can opener blade rusted” and “old food residue buildup on rice containers.”
A next-day inspection found two intermediate and two basic violations, but the eatery was allowed to reopen.