‘Live rodent in oven’: Live flies, vermin surprises shut three South Florida restaurants

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jun 01, 2021 4:31 PM

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Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

Live flies on cinnamon fried tortillas and vegetables, hundreds of rodent droppings and “rodent rub marks” on the walls (more on these in a second) forced state inspectors to temporarily shut a trio of local eateries last week.

One of those restaurants — Indian-Jamaican restaurant Curry Express in Fort Lauderdale — remains shut after inspectors spotted a live rodent inside an unexpected place: an oven. (An “unused oven stored outside” housed the critter, not Curry Express’ everyday oven. Not that this sounds much better.)

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.)

880 W. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale

Ordered shut: May 26; restaurant remains closed

Why: All told, inspectors spotted 21 violations (six high-priority), led by the aforementioned “live rodent in oven.” There also were “rodent rub marks present along walls/ceilings.” (“Rodent rub marks,” a phrase we never thought we’d have to Google, are the trails of dirt and oil rodents leave behind.) They also saw 26 live flies in the kitchen and food prep areas “crawling on cabbage, tomatoes and bags of cauliflower,” and inspectors ordered the restaurant to stop selling cabbage, tomatoes and cauliflower due to “food not being in a wholesome, sound condition.” They also saw another 24 flies “on dirty pots and pans” in the mop sink and one live roach in the kitchen above the fryer. There were also 129 (!) rodent droppings beneath the dishwashing sink, near the front counter and on shelves next to onions, potatoes, ginger and inside an unused oven. Of the minor offenses, inspectors also spotted “50 dead flying insects in freezer located outside,” ceiling damage and “hole in or other damage to wall.” The restaurant remains closed until inspectors finish a follow-up inspection.

814 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach

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Ordered shut: May 25 and May 26; reopened May 26

14851 Lyons Road, Delray Beach

Ordered shut: May 24; reopened May 25

Why: A repeat offender last ordered shut April 20, Ocean One temporarily closed again May 24 when inspectors found eight violations (five high-priority), including 77 live flies on a “cinnamon-fried tortilla at the end of cook line,” next to the steam table, on dining-room tables, on the bar lights, on a sheet rack with sweet potatoes and atop a cutting board. One fly even landed on an inspector’s visor. Inspectors ordered the restaurant to stop selling tortillas and sweet potatoes due to “food not being in a wholesome, sound condition.” The restaurant was allowed to reopen May 25 when inspectors found no follow-up violations.

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