Live roaches in spring rolls, dead cockroaches near fortune cookies shut two South Florida restaurants

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jun 07, 2021 6:22 PM

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Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

The fortune cookies at two South Florida Chinese restaurants probably didn’t see this coming.

Inspectors ordered the shutdown of China One in Davie and Susie Lai Chinese Restaurant in North Miami Beach last week for live and dead cockroaches infesting containers of fortune cookies. Susie Lai, shut since May 25, remained closed Monday pending a follow-up inspection.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel highlights restaurant inspections in Broward and Palm Beach counties from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Here’s how it works: 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. On occasion we may highlight the weirder violations we notice, like this pizzeria that put a dead 80-pound iguana in its freezer.

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.)

15711 Sheridan St., Davie

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Ordered shut: June 1 (reopened June 2)

Why: 13 violations (four high-priority), including at least 125 live cockroaches spotted “on a wooden shelf where rice cooker is stored,” under the steam table in the kitchen, on the fan under the steam table and (unfortunately?) beneath a shelf “where packages of fortune cookies are stored.” Inspectors also spotted at least 40 dead cockroaches under the steam table in the kitchen, next to the water heater, next to uncovered sauces and (unfortunately?) “on [a] shelf where cases of fortune cookies, soy sauces and duck sauces are stored.” An inspector also told the restaurant to remove a can of WD-40, which contained toxic chemicals, that was stored “next to a container with cashews and peanuts.” The restaurant was allowed to reopen June 2 when inspectors found no major issues.

Susie Lai Chinese Restaurant

18305 NE 19th Ave., North Miami Beach

Ordered shut: Six times starting May 25 (has not yet reopened)

Why: Do we start with the dead cockroaches in a container of spring rolls or the rodent droppings near the cake mixer? Both happened during the state inspector’s FIRST visit (of six visits and counting) to Susie Lai, when they spotted 44 dead roaches on the dining-room and kitchen floors, near a rice cooker filled with cooked white rice, inside a chest freezer, inside a container of fortune cookies and “a container of 16 uncovered spring rolls in a chest freezer that has 9 dead roaches inside of it.” Inspectors ordered the restaurant to stop selling the spring rolls “due to food not being in a wholesome, sound condition.” Inspectors also spotted 65 live roaches on the kitchen floor, in the dry-storage area, “crawling on a shelf that has cups and lids” and unprotected napkins, next to the kitchen bathroom and “crawling out of a box of cling wrap.” There were at least 82 rodent droppings underneath a table in the kitchen, “on the kitchen floor next to cake mixer,” on a shelf that “stores flour, rice and canned products” and in the rear storage room. Finally, inspectors found “objectionable odors in the kitchen.”

The restaurant remained shut during inspectors’ second visit on May 26, when they found 47 dead roaches, 56 live ones, 50 rodent droppings and lingering “objectionable odors.” The third, fourth and fifth visits on May 27, June 1 and June 3 fared no better, with dozens of vermin spotted on each occasion. The most-recent inspection on June 4 found seven more live roaches behind the dishwasher, water heater and chest freezer, a dead roach by the storage shelf and sagging, water-damaged ceiling tiles. The restaurant remains closed.

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