‘Live flies sitting on assorted donuts’: Four South Florida restaurants temporarily ordered shut

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jan 24, 2022 3:16 PM

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Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

Some carb-loading flies went on a Dunkin’ sugar rush last week, pigging out on doughnuts and muffins at one of four restaurants temporarily ordered shut by state inspectors.

The other three restaurants forced to close were China Bistro and Sushi in Hollywood, IHOP in Hallandale Beach and Taco Loco in Pompano 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.)

China Bistro and Sushi, Hollywood

5650 Stirling Road, Suite 8-9

Ordered shut: Jan. 20, reopened Jan. 21

Why: 15 violations (four high priority), such as an infestation of 70 live flies spotted landing on “open bag of brown sugar, bags of potato starch, flour and sugar,” canned vegetables, “on a box of single-service portion cups” and “on boxes of bulk soy sauce on a shelf in the kitchen.” Other flies were spotted on the wall near a kitchen sink “where chicken is being thawed.” State inspectors also spotted a “hole in or damage to wall” in the restaurant storage area. They even ordered the restaurant to remove its existing poke menu because “menu does not identify which items contain raw or undercooked animal foods covered by the consumer advisory.” Despite finding another a handful of major and minor red flags during their second visit on Jan. 21, the state cleared China Bistro to reopen.

1020 W. Hallandale Beach Blvd.

Ordered shut: Jan. 20, reopened Jan. 21

Why: The state spotted seven violations (three high priority), including nine live flies “flying around mop bucket by mop sink,” as well as flying around the kitchen’s juice station, garbage can and storage room – although no pests landed on any food contact surfaces. The state also spotted five rodent droppings beneath the kitchen’s prep table and inside the “chemical room where sanitizer is stored,” which the restaurant operator later cleaned and sanitized. Inspectors, on their second visit on Jan. 21, let IHOP reopen after finding a single minor issue.

Ordered shut: Jan. 18, reopened Jan. 19

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Why: Nine violations (five high priority), namely 20 live cockroaches crawling around the kitchen sink’s “shelving braces” and crawling around the corner tiles near the sink. One inspector red-flagged a bottle of Tylenol sitting “next to single-service items” in the kitchen, which the restaurant operator later removed. The restaurant also was ordered to stop selling and toss its ground beef “due to temperature abuse.” The taqueria reopened the next day without a single incident.

Dunkin Donuts, North Miami Beach

Ordered shut: Jan. 18, reopened Jan. 19

Why: 19 violations (five high priority), led by these pastry predicaments: 30 live flies “sitting on assorted donuts and muffins by the drive-thru window,” on the wall near “the Coca-Cola reach-in cooler,” flying around the dining area and landing on the wall by the front-counter monitors. Inspectors also caught one drive-thru employee “serving coffee and donuts after handling cash transactions” – and they didn’t wash their hands first. Inspectors also noticed “all employees washed hands with cold water” instead of hot, and that the donut-holding units were “in poor repair” and wrapped with tape “to keep the lights secured.” Inspectors, finally, ordered Dunkin to trash its doughnuts and muffins “due to food not being in a wholesome, sound condition.” Although inspectors spotted several more issues during their second visit on Jan. 19, they let Dunkin reopen.

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