Live flies taint tuna salad, tomatoes at five South Florida restaurants temporarily ordered shut

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An eye-popping number of rodent droppings tied up service (for a day, at least) at Thai Me Up in Wilton Manors, and flies and cockroaches touched tuna salad and tomatoes at four more eateries ordered shut last week by state inspectors.

Other restaurants forced to temporarily close included Smiling Brothers Restaurant in Miramar, China City Restaurant in Opa-Locka, Victoria’s Cuisine in Lantana and Executive One Catering in Boynton 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.)

Thai Me Up, Wilton Manors

Ordered shut: Aug. 18, reopened Aug. 19

Why: State inspectors spotted 17 violations (five high priority), including an infestation of 75 rodent droppings found “on top of dish machine located in kitchen,” on the floor behind the dish machine, and on the floor behind the walk-in cooler. The state ordered the Thai restaurant to stop selling and throw out its tofu, raw chicken, cooked noodles, butter, lobster and cooked rice “due to temperature abuse.” Meanwhile, one inspector saw an employee washing their “hands with cold water at sushi station.” The restaurant was allowed to reopen Aug. 19 when a re-inspection found only minor issues.

Smiling Brothers Restaurant, Miramar

Ordered shut: Aug. 17, reopened Aug. 18

Why: Seven violations (two high priority), including 32 rodent droppings “on top microwave in kitchen,” on the steam table in the kitchen, and on a kitchen shelf “where clean containers are stored.” Inspectors let the restaurant reopen Aug. 18 after finding one minor issue.

China City Restaurant, Opa-Locka

Ordered shut: Aug. 20, remains closed

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Why: 15 violations (five high priority), including six live cockroaches spotted crawling on the kitchen floor, “under preparation table” and on top of mechanical tools under the prep table. In the same area under the prep table, inspectors saw “20+ roach droppings,” and beneath the cooking station, they spotted “10+ dead roaches on kitchen floor.” The state also ordered China City to stop selling and toss its fried rice and cooked ribs “due to temperature abuse.” The restaurant remains shut pending a second inspection.

Victoria’s Cuisine, Lantana

Ordered shut: Aug. 18, reopened Aug. 19

Why: The state saw 11 violations (five high priority) led by eight live cockroaches found crawling on “lid of flip-top cooler” near the prep station, on the floor beneath the cooler and on the floor next to a handwashing sink, as well as three live flies flying around the cook line and clean dish areas. Victoria’s reopened Aug. 19 when a follow-up inspection found zero problems.

Executive One Catering, Boynton Beach

Ordered shut: Aug. 17, reopened Aug. 18

Why: Eight violations (seven high priority), including 12 live flies spotted landing on tomatoes and tuna salad “in the prep area,” as well as landing “on dirty containers [in the] sink,” on the kitchen garbage can and on top of a cooler. Live cockroaches, meanwhile, were spotted “on prep table next to uncovered lasagna,” crawling on the underside of the “prep table next to pizza oven,” and in the gaskets of a chest freezer in the storage area. Inspectors ordered Executive One to stop selling and trash its “tuna salad contaminated by flies,” as well as its meatballs, cheese, rice, potatoes, beef, tomato sauce, gravy, salsa and heavy cream “due to temperature abuse.” The caterer reopened Aug. 18 when a reinspection found no issues.

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