Flies ‘landing on unwashed onions’: Five South Florida restaurants temporarily ordered shut

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Repeat offenders are all over last week’s lineup of eateries forced to temporarily close by state inspectors.

Comfort-food shack Wayback Burgers (last shut Feb. 10) in Coconut Creek is one of them, and so is Mexican bakery Los Gallitos Tortilleria and Panaderia (last shut Dec. 13) in Lake Worth and Betty’s Soul Food in Fort Lauderdale (last shut January 2020). Other restaurants closed by the state included Bull Top Taste in Royal Palm Beach and Yama Japanese Restaurant in Delray Beach.

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.)

Betty’s Soul Food Restaurant, Fort Lauderdale

Ordered shut: Feb. 14, reopened Feb. 15

Why: 16 violations (six high priority) include 20 rodent “droppings on front counter shelf” next to the dining room’s ice machine – which the operators began cleaning right away. An inspector spotted one employee forgetting to wash their hands before putting on gloves. The restaurant also was ordered to stop selling and toss its cooked chicken, beef and pork “due to temperature abuse.” Although they found a handful of smaller issues during their second visit, inspectors let the soul-food restaurant reopen Feb. 15.

Bull Top Taste, Royal Palm Beach

Ordered shut: Feb. 17, reopened Feb. 18

Why: Six violations, one of which was high-priority: Three live cockroaches “crawling on top of reach-in freezer” next to the kitchen sink, and beneath a storage shelf nearby – all of which the operator later killed and sanitized. The inspector also found six dead roaches underneath the same kitchen freezer. The restaurant reopened Feb. 18 when the state discovered a single issue during their reinspection.

Yama Japanese Restaurant, Delray Beach

Ordered shut: Feb. 16, reopened Feb. 17

Why: Seven violations (four high priority), including 102 live flies found “landing on unwashed onions” and “unopened packaged sauces,” landing on the wall next to the dishwashing area and landing “on wooden 2-by-4 boards being stored above shelving” in the kitchen. The state also saw “two dead roaches on the windowsill” inside the kitchen, which the operators cleaned. Inspectors spotted a single issue during their second visit on Feb. 17, but reopened the Japanese restaurant.

Wayback Burgers, Coconut Creek

4690 N. State Road 7, Suite 103

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Why: After being ordered shut last week, this burger joint racked up 12 more violations (four high priority) and a deadline extension to fix violations from the state’s Feb. 10 inspection. Issues from Feb. 10 included 127 flies “landing on cut tomatoes,” “landing on bags containing onions in prep area,” “on clean prep tables” and “on box containing raw ground beef” stored near the kitchen sink. The state has not yet posted a report of its follow-up inspection, and the restaurant remains shut.

Los Gallitos Tortilleria and Panaderia, Lake Worth

Ordered shut: Feb. 14, reopened Feb. 15

Why: Eight violations (two high priority), led by three live cockroaches spotted crawling “near the stove,” “near reach-in freezer” and near the kitchen sink – all of which the operator later killed and sanitized. The state also counted 17 dead cockroaches “behind speed racks in bakery area,” “near prep table on cook line” and near the kitchen sink. The state spotted a single minor violation during its second visit Feb. 15, but let the restaurant reopen. The Mexican eatery was last ordered shut back on Dec. 13 for similar roach issues.

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