‘Sticky and greasy’ dining room floor, pizza boxes stored in bathroom: 4 South Florida restaurants shut

Flies found inside a bag of rye bread, pizza boxes stored in a bathroom, and an employee seen using isopropyl alcohol to sanitize their hands instead of washing were among the reasons state inspectors forced four South Florida restaurants temporarily shut last week.

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.)

Ben’s Kosher Deli, Boca Raton

9942 Clint Moore Road

Ordered shut: Feb. 8; reopened Feb. 9

Why: 10 violations (six high-priority), including 77 flies “landing on boxes/shelving holding dry storage items next to back door in kitchen,” “hovering and landing on shelf and bottles (of) vinegar in prep area,” “however and landing on equipment/clean wares in ware-washing area,” “landing on wall at soda station in front of cook line,” “landing at front deli line soda machine” and “inside of sealed bag of rye bread stored at front deli line.”

Meanwhile, inspectors spotted a pair of dead flies “on cutting board in prep area” and a single live cockroach “on wall above front line steam table on front deli line not in kitchen area.”

The restaurant was ordered to stop selling and trash its rye bread “due to adulteration of food product,” as well as its baked potatoes “due to temperature abuse.”

A next-day inspection yielded no new issues, and the state cleared the deli to reopen.

The Original Pancake House, Palm Beach Gardens

4364 Northlake Blvd.

Ordered shut: Feb. 8 and Feb. 9; reopened Feb. 9

Why: 14 violations (three high-priority), including about 65 live flies “under dishwasher drain,” “at prep station behind the dishwasher area” and “at cook line,” as well as three live cockroaches spotted crawling “under dishwasher” and “at cook line coming out from under the equipment.”

The state inspectors’ report also highlighted multiple sanitation issues such as a cutting board and a wall in the dishwasher area both having a “mold-like presence,” as well as “floor sticky and greasy throughout the dining room” and flooring “covered with standing water at prep station by cook line” and “at prep station by ware-washing area.”

The restaurant was shut again on Feb. 9, but a repeat inspection later that day enabled the eatery to reopen, despite racking up six basic and intermediate violations. This Palm Beach Gardens location was previously ordered shut twice in December.

Mr. Shuttle’s Pizza By The Sea, Fort Lauderdale

239 Almond Ave.

Ordered shut: Feb. 8; reopened Feb. 9

Why: 11 violations (one high-priority), including “no time marking on pizza slices,” which is required. An additional note in the report said “the time removed from temperature control cannot be determined.”

The inspection also found “no dishwashing facilities” provided — “establishment has no dishwasher and triple sink is inoperable; triple sink has no running water.” Meanwhile, the restaurant was using a “handwash sink in kitchen for ware washing.”

In addition, the state “observed Ziploc boxes stored inside kitchen hand-wash sink,” as well as “pizza boxes stored inside bathroom.” They also “observed operator not allowing customers to use restroom.” One employee was seen pouring “isopropyl alcohol onto hands while wearing gloves to sanitize hands” instead of “washing hands as required.”

Despite having two intermediate violations during its next-day inspection, the pizzeria was cleared to reopen.

Way Beyond Bagels, Boca Raton

9858 Clint Moore Road

Ordered shut: twice on Feb. 7 and once on Feb. 8; reopened Feb. 8

Why: Eight violations (three high-priority), including 6 live cockroaches spotted crawling around a “not-in-use, cook line low top reach-in cooler in kitchen.”

There were also seven dead roaches “on ground on cook line in kitchen,” “inside of door gasket of not-in-use reach-in cooler,” “inside of oven on cook line,” “under shelf to expo window on cook line” and “on ground outside of rear walk-in cooler in kitchen.”

The report also red-flagged a “pesticide-emitting strip present in food prep area” and “uncovered food stored near sink exposed to splash” (these were “uncovered bagels stored directly next to hand-wash sink, paper towel dispenser at front line”). Finally, the state noted the presence of accumulated “food debris/soil residue on equipment door handles,” a soiled ice cream scoop holder and soiled flooring under cook line equipment.

The state ordered the bagel shop shut again on Feb. 7 and a third time on Feb. 8, but let it reopen after a fourth inspection found zero violations.

The restaurant’s Delray Beach location was previously ordered shut in October 2022.

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