‘One dead fly in mayonnaise’: Inspectors shut down six South Florida restaurants

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When a fly nosedives into a jar of mayonnaise in a South Florida restaurant, you can rest assured that fly was probably not vegan. You can also rest assured that state inspectors ordered the West Palm Beach eatery in question — Hook Fish & Chicken in West Palm Beach — temporarily closed last week.

Hook joined five more South Florida restaurants briefly shut for inspection violations, including Boom Thai & Sushi in Hollywood, Ivory’s Takeout in Fort Lauderdale, HBK Burger in Hollywood, Dune Deck Café in Lantana and Pizza Palace in Lake Worth.

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.)

Boom Thai & Sushi, Hollywood

Ordered shut: Sept. 20, reopened Sept. 21

Why: The state found 10 violations (six high priority), led by “a “dead rodent present on the floor … outside the walk-in freezer” and next to shelves containing spices – which the owner cleaned and sanitized in front of inspectors. The operator also cleaned 10 rodent droppings left “on the floor … outside the walk-in freezer.” One inspector saw an ice machine with water running over a “black/green mold-like substance inside,” and ordered the restaurant to throw out its ice. They also ordered the eatery to stop selling and toss its beef, chicken, cooked rice, butter, cream cheese, shelled eggs and tofu “due to temperature abuse.” Inspectors found two more big violations during their second visit — but they weren’t serious enough — and the restaurant reopened Sept. 21.

Ivory’s Takeout, Fort Lauderdale

Ordered shut: Sept. 23, reopened Sept. 24

Why: 14 violations (five high priority), including six live flies landing on the wall, kitchen sink and “clean utensils,” which the owner later killed and cleaned. The restaurant was also ordered to stop selling and throw out its sliced cheese due to temperature abuse. Despite spotting two more flies “flying in kitchen” — but not landing on anything — the restaurant was allowed to reopen Sept. 24.

Hook, Fish & Chicken, West Palm Beach

Ordered shut: Sept. 20, reopened Sept. 23

Why: Inspectors saw 15 violations (four high priority), led by this fly infestation: “1 dead fly in seven-ounce mayonnaise [jar] in the reach-in cooler” and “three dead flies on six slices of cheese in reach-in cooler,” along with 48 live flies landing “on top of a 50-pound bag of onions,” on “a bag of tostadas,” “on cases of beer,” “on seasoning container” next to the kitchen sink, and landing on the front bar top and trash can. Inspectors ordered the restaurant to toss its tainted cheese and mayonnaise “due to adulteration of food product.” Despite not providing a parasite destruction letter for its conch during their second visit on Sept. 23 — considered a big violation —inspectors let Hook off the hook and reopened the restaurant that day.

Ordered shut: Sept. 21, reopened Sept. 22

Why: Six violations (four high priority), including seven live cockroaches crawling inside the fountain drink ice machine, beneath the sink in the salad prep area and stuck to the “glue trap under grill.” In the same area, next to a “torn window screen” where “vermin cross-contamination [was] present,” inspectors spotted 34 rodent droppings “on lids of rice, flour grits and waffle mix containers.” They also saw droppings on the kitchen prep table, on the floor, “on top of dish machine” and on a container holding menus. Of course, Dune Deck was ordered to stop selling and throw out its ice because it wasn’t “in a wholesome, sound condition.” The state allowed Dune Deck to reopen Sept. 22 with zero follow-up violations.

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Ordered shut: Sept. 21, reopened Sept. 22

Why: 12 violations (two high priority), led by one live cockroach “in cabinet under soda machine,” as well as six dead roaches under the soda machine and inside a “cabinet at front counter.” Another big issue: “sewage/wastewater backing up through floor drains” and “staying between the floor tiles” whenever an employee turned on the kitchen hand sink. Also a problem: the door to the pizzeria’s reach-in cooler, which was “in poor repair” and “not secured.” The pizzeria was allowed to reopen Sept. 22, although state regulators on their second inspection found another half-dozen minor issues.

5650 Stirling Road, Suite 6-7

Ordered shut: Sept. 23 and Sept. 24, reopened Sept. 25

Why: 13 violations (five high priority), such as an infestation of 47 live flies “landing on sauce cups stored on top of the beer keg refrigerator,” “on a bucked with soiled wiping cloths” next to the sink,” landing “on a drain rack” over the sink, and “landing on packaged and canned food” in the storage area. The state also saw “water … dripping from the roof into the storage area,” evidence that the roof doesn’t “effectively protect establishment against environmental cross-contamination or the entrance of pests.” On their Sept. 24 follow-up visit, inspectors kept HBK shut after discovering seven more flies landing on shelving, napkins and “a container of breadcrumbs.” The state finally let the restaurant reopen Sept. 25 despite finding another major issue.

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