Rodent urine, ‘flies landing on green scallions’ force three South Florida restaurants temporarily shut

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Apr 11, 2022 2:28 PM

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Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

Sun Sentinel Restaurant Inspections

A dead rodent near the water heater and 118 live flies infesting the kitchen and bar areas convinced state inspectors to shut down a trio of South Florida restaurants last week.

The eateries sent to the time-out corner were Nature’s Way Cafe in Lake Worth, Kay Rico Coffee in Hollywood and Nikos Greek Kouzina in Tequesta.

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.)

Nature’s Way Cafe, Lake Worth

Ordered shut: April 6 and April 7, reopened April 7

Why: Four violations (one high priority), led by two live flies “flying around near prep table in the kitchen,” as well as 38 rodent droppings discovered “on top of white freezer in the kitchen” and in the hallway leading to the restrooms and back door. Inspectors also found droppings “on top of hot water heater,” on an electrical outlet box behind the prep table, and “rodent urine marks” on a shelf above the kitchen’s prep table. More rodent droppings and live flies were spotted during the state’s second visit on April 7, and shut down the restaurant again. Inspectors on their third visit later that day discovered zero new issues and cleared the restaurant to reopen.

Kay Rico Coffee, Hollywood

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Ordered shut: April 6, reopened April 7

Why: Inspectors spotted a trio of violations (two high priority), counting 118 live flies infesting the kitchen and bar areas. The state spotted a handful “flying around exit and reach-in cooler door,” “landing on green scallions inside container of water” near the deep freezer, “flying around clean utensils on [kitchen] storage shelf,” resting on the kitchen wall and “flying around and landing on to-go pizza boxes.” Despite finding another problem during their second inspection on April 7, the state OK’d Kay Rico’s reopening.

Nikos Greek Kouzina, Tequesta

Ordered shut: April 5, reopened April 6

Why: Seven violations (three high priority), led by this discovery: “Dead rodent present in water heater room in kitchen.” The operator, of course, discarded the rat, but not before cleaning up 20 of its droppings behind the kitchen storage rack and in the water heater room. The restaurant also was ordered to stop selling and throw out its lasagna and spanakopita “due to temperature abuse.” Inspectors didn’t find a single incident during their second inspection the next day, and cleared the Greek restaurant to reopen.

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