‘Live moths inside container of rice’: Four South Florida restaurants ordered temporarily shut, three of them in Hollywood

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Mar 21, 2022 1:54 PM

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Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

Rodent nests, moths fluttering inside closed rice containers and flies landing on bread loaves forced state inspectors to temporarily shut four South Florida restaurants last week.

Three of the offending restaurants are in Hollywood — Chicking, Cviche Bar and Pita Star — while the fourth, a caterer named Diana Food Group, is located 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.)

Ordered shut: March 15, reopened March 18

Why: 13 violations (five high-priority), led by this: 92 rodent droppings spotted in the kitchen beneath a cook line prep table, under a dry-storage shelf outside the walk-in cooler, on a table “holding bulk containers of flour and breading in the kitchen” and “on lumber stacked behind the flour and breading containers.” Inspectors also found evidence its resident pest — or pests — had been there a while, spotting a “rodent burrow” of shredded insulation under two shelves in the kitchen’s dry storage area. They also red-flagged the eatery for failing to secure “rodent bait not contained in a covered, tamper-resistant bait station.” The state also discovered an “open can of ketchup with mold-like growth” inside the kitchen’s walk-in cooler, and ordered the restaurant to stop trash it. Following a second inspection on March 18, the state let the fried-chicken restaurant reopen.

Ordered shut: March 14, reopened March 16

Why: 22 violations (nine high-priority), including this eye-opener: “Live moths inside container of rice” in the kitchen storage room. The state forced the ceviche bar to stop selling and toss its contaminated rice “due to food not being in a wholesome, sound condition.” Inspectors likewise saw 40 live flies “flying around and landing on clean utensils and storage containers on shelves” and the kitchen tables, and “landing on clean serving cups” stored on a shelf in the kitchen. (The restaurant operator tried to kill most of them during the inspection.) One inspector saw an “employee touching soiled cloth on waist, handled clean utensils … and then engaged in food preparation” without washing their hands, and saw unwashed “pots being put away with no sanitizing step.” Finally, the state found stained drywall in the men’s bathroom, which pointed to “evidence of a leak.” Although a trio of minor issues were discovered during the state’s second inspection on March 16, the restaurant was cleared to reopen. (Rodent droppings also forced the restaurant temporarily shut last August.)

Ordered shut: March 15 and March 16, reopened March 16

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Why: Inspectors spotted 19 violations (seven high-priority), such as 10 live flies spotted “flying around near the back door near the dishwashing area” and kitchen walk-in cooler, as well as five live cockroaches “on top of boxes of tahini in the kitchen” and on shelves outside the walk-in cooler. Inspectors also noticed — and counted — “50 roach droppings on shelves outside the walk-in cooler,” plus four more rodent droppings around the same kitchen shelf. Finally, inspectors saw a dead roach near the kitchen’s back door and dinged an “employee with no hair restraint engaging in food preparation.” The state discovered more live cockroaches during their second inspection on March 16, keeping the kosher restaurant closed, but after a third inspection later that day cleared the eatery to reopen.

Diana Food Group, Pompano Beach

Ordered shut: March 15, reopened March 16

Why: Two high-priority violations, led by 30 live flies “landing on loaves of wrapped bread and bread racks between walk-in freezer and walk-in cooler” in the kitchen, and “landing on mechanical can opener outside walk-in freezer” and the wall near the commercial ice machine. State inspectors also discovered five live cockroaches crawling “under unused equipment outside of walk-in freezer.” Zero violations found during the state’s second inspection on March 16 cleared the restaurant to reopen.

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