‘Evidence of rodent gnawing’ on chicken breading: Popeye’s in Hollywood, four more South Florida restaurants ordered shut

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Rodents munched on and rooted through bags of chicken breading at a Hollywood Popeye’s, one of five South Florida restaurants forced to close last week by state inspectors.

The perhaps way-beyond-frustrated owners of Way Beyond Bagels in Delray Beach were also ordered shut for a second consecutive week after inspectors found more gifts left by the shop’s resident rodent. Another repeat offender, Indian Harvest in Boca Raton, was also ordered shut, as was Nori in Boca Raton and Almani’s Kosher Catering Bakery in Hollywood.

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

Sun Sentinel readers can browse full Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade county reports on our state inspection map, updated weekly (usually Monday) with fresh data pulled from the Florida DBPR website.

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

217 E. Palmetto Park Road

Ordered shut: Nov. 8, reopened Nov. 12

Why: 14 violations (10 high priority), such as an infestation of 17 live cockroaches inside “clean bowl above … flip-top cooler” at the cooking station, “on dirty dishes cart” and around the grease trap near kitchen sink and on the “floor at two-door reach-in freezer in kitchen.” Inspectors spotted one employee not changing single-use gloves between cracking a raw egg and plating food. And the restaurant was forced to stop selling and throw out day-old cooked rice from its reach-in cooler and another batch of “sushi rice at front counter.” The Thai-Japanese restaurant’s followup inspection on Nov. 12 revealed two more minor violations.

Way Beyond Bagels, Delray Beach

Ordered shut: Twice on Nov. 9 and once on Nov. 10, reopened Nov. 10

Why: After being ordered shut in early November for 129 rodent droppings, Way Beyond Bagels’ main antagonist evaded capture. Last week, the creature struck again: 10 more rodent droppings below the muffin case plus four more violations, triggering another temporary closure. Could the “dead rodent present underneath the [kitchen] cooler” spell the end of the bagel shop’s critter woes? Time will tell. The restaurant was also ordered to stop selling and throw out its grilled chicken salad from the deli case “due to temperature abuse.” The restaurant was ordered shut a second time on Nov. 9 and a third time on Nov. 10 for more rodent droppings in the deli case. Finally, inspectors let Way Beyond reopen Nov. 10 with zero new violations.

Ordered shut: Nov. 8 and Nov. 10, reopened Nov. 10

Why: Five violations (two high priority), led by “three bags of chicken breading flour with evidence of rodent gnawing.” In the same area, inspectors also spotted 44 rodent droppings “on top of a bag of chicken breading flour” and on the floor underneath, as well as “on a shelf storing single-service paper goods” in the storage room, “on top of clean storage containers” and “on top of boxes of condiments and carry-out bags.” After an inspector informed a manager about the questionable temperature of the chicken tenders, the manager “voluntarily discarded the items.” The state shut Popeye’s a second time on Nov. 10 for more rodent droppings near the men’s room. The state allowed the fast-food restaurant to reopen Nov. 10 after discovering no new issues.

Indian Harvest, Boca Raton

500 Via de Palmas, Suite 79

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Ordered shut: Nov. 9, reopened the same day

Why: Plagued by cockroaches four months ago (and forced to close as a result), Indian Harvest’s roach woes returned last week with 10 live ones “on floor beneath [the kitchen] sink” plus five more violations. An employee killed four of the 10 and sanitized the area, but the rest remain at large. The restaurant was also ordered to stop selling and toss its onion sauce, tomato sauce, lentils and potato sauce “due to temperature abuse.” The restaurant reopened Nov. 10 despite a pair of basic issues found during inspectors’ second visit.

Almani’s Kosher Catering Bakery, Hollywood

2836 Stirling Road, Bay 1

Ordered shut: Nov. 8, reopened Nov. 9

Why: Inspectors spotted six violations (two high priority), including 23 rodent droppers “on shelf in storage area” next to boxes of “single-service glassware,” “clean and wrapped catering service utensils” and “clean table linens.” The bakery was allowed to reopen the next day after the state flagged another basic issue.

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