‘No handwash sink for employees,’ roaches in breadcrumbs and cornmeal: 6 South Florida restaurants shut

A restaurant missing one of its key ingredients — a working handwash sink — was among six South Florida establishments temporarily ordered shut last week by the state.

Other problems included flies landing on a kitchen whisk, roaches touching breadcrumbs, an employee blowing into their gloves, a pack of cigarettes stored on the cook line, and rodent droppings underneath toasters.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel typically highlights restaurant inspections conducted by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Broward and Palm Beach counties. We cull through inspections that happen weekly and spotlight places ordered shut for “high-priority violations,” such as improper food temperatures or dead cockroaches.

Any restaurant that fails a state inspection must stay closed until it passes a follow-up. If you spotted a possible violation and wish to file a complaint, contact Florida DBPR. (But please don’t contact us: The Sun Sentinel doesn’t inspect restaurants.

Santino’s Pizza & Pasta, Pembroke Pines

18267 Pines Blvd.

Ordered shut: Aug. 18-19; reopened Aug. 21

Why: 23 violations (six high-priority), including 13 live cockroaches found “under steam table, crawling on wall, inside kitchen,” “under rubber mat in pizza station room,” “on empty shelf … in pizza station,” “on shelf of lasagna bowls under steam table in cook line,” and “on wall, above triple sink, where clean equipment storage rack in located.”

There were also four dead roaches “on floor in pizza station room” and “by front counter between two customers’ self-service reach-in coolers.”

The restaurant was ordered to stop selling and toss its marinated sauce and garlic butter due to temperature issues.

Finally, the state red-flagged multiple sanitation and contamination issues, including a “broken frame in both sides of back entrance door,” “fly sticky tape hanging over triple sink,” a cutting board with cut marks that is “no longer cleanable,” “wet wiping cloth not stored in sanitizing solution between uses,” and a “bottle of Fabuloso cleaner” stored “next to cooking utensils.” The report also noted “two employee containers inside lower cooler in pizza station.”

The Italian restaurant was ordered shut the following day for unresolved live roach activity, but it was cleared to reopen Aug. 21 when a third inspection found a single basic violation.

Snappers Fish & Chicken, Lauderhill

4037 NW 19th St.

Ordered shut: Aug. 17; reopened Aug. 18

Why: 13 violations (six high-priority), including “one live roach in container of breadcrumbs and two live roaches in container of cornmeal” in the back storeroom behind the kitchen. There were also dead roaches in the same breadcrumbs and cornmeal containers, as well as in containers of seasoned flour and plain flour, and “on floor in back storeroom behind kitchen.”

The restaurant was ordered to stop selling and trash its tainted cornmeal, breadcrumbs, seasoned flour and plain flour “due to food not being in a wholesome, sound condition.” The restaurant was also dinged for containers not having “tight fitting lids” and not being properly labeled.

Finally, the report noted one employee who “did not wash hands before replacing gloves after changing batteries in soap dispenser.”

The restaurant passed its second inspection the following day without a single follow-up issue.

Zoe Ladies Kitchen, Margate

5634 W. Sample Road

Ordered shut: Aug. 17-18; reopened Aug. 18

Why: Seven violations (four high-priority), including four live cockroaches spotted crawling “on ground in kitchen on cook line,” “under two-door stainless reach-in cooler in kitchen directly next to cook line,” and “inside of three-door low-top cook line cooler in kitchen.”

Thirteen dead roaches were also seen “under two-door stainless reach-in cooler,” “under triple sink in kitchen,” “on ground to the left of oven” and “under prep table behind cook line.”

The restaurant was ordered to stop selling and toss its “beef fat containing pieces of cooked beef/vegetables” due to “temperature abuse.”

The presence of live and dead roaches forced the state to close the kitchen a second time the next day. The restaurant reopened after its third inspection on Aug. 18 yielded one intermediate violation.

Zoe Ladies was last ordered shut twice in March for more roach issues.

Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club, Boca Raton

2425 W. Maya Palm Drive

Ordered shut: Aug. 17; reopened the same day

Why: Two violations (one high-priority), including about 35 flies “landing on mixer paddle and whisk hanging over the sushi station in the kitchen,” as well as “landing on the walls in the sushi/pastry prep area in the kitchen.”

The club restaurant was allowed to reopen the same day after zero issues were discovered.

Miyi La Cubanita Cuban Cafe, Deerfield Beach

1380 S. Powerline Road

Ordered shut: Aug. 16; reopened the same day

Why: Eight violations (four high-priority), including multiple employee issues.

According to the inspection report, an employee was observed exiting the building, touching outside tables and chairs, then proceeding to “handle single-service cup and ice scoop without first washing hands.” An employee was “sweeping floor with broom then (proceeded) to handle plated food without washing hands.” The report also says an  employee with gloved hands “was working with wares and triple sink then (proceeded) to handle cook line utensils without changing gloves.”

Among other observations: “no handwash sink for employees,” with an additional note saying “operator went to gather needed equipment to reinstall handwash sinks.”

Finally, the state flagged “one dead roach observed under triple sink.”

Despite four high-priority and two intermediate violations found during the cafe’s second inspection the same day, the state let the restaurant reopen.

Farmer Girl Restaurant, Lake Worth Beach

1732 N. Dixie Highway

Ordered shut: Aug. 15-16; reopened Aug. 16

Why: 18 violations (nine high-priority), including at least 58 rodent droppings “on top of shelf with dry sealed goods on cook line,” “on top of shelf with pots and pans in storage room with water heater,” “under toasters on cook line,” “on floor between reach-in cooler and reach-in freezer on cook line” and “under three-compartment sink.”

A pack of cigarettes was “improperly stored above (cooked) sausage on shelf on cook line.”

The state caught one employee “blowing into the gloves followed by putting (on) those gloves, followed by handling clean utensils.”

Finally, the state noted multiple sanitation issues, including the ceiling “starting to cave in” because of water damage,” the floors of the kitchen soiled with an “accumulation of debris,” peeling paint in the kitchen, and “several holes throughout the restaurant, primarily at floor levels.” The report also noted an “insect control device installed over food preparation area.”

The restaurant was ordered shut the next day but was cleared to reopen later that day when its third inspection found three basic violations.

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