Soiled toilets in restrooms, flies landing on red onions: State shuts 3 South Florida restaurants, 1 food truck

No running water, a roach spray can being “used to hold gas lines under (a) steam table” and a floor covered in standing water were among the issues that forced the state to temporarily close three South Florida restaurants and one food truck last week.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel typically highlights restaurant and food truck 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 business that fails this 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.)

BROWARD COUNTY

The Brass Tap
624 SW 145th Terrace, Pembroke Pines

Ordered shut: June 3; reopened June 4

Why: 14 violations (three high-priority), including about 23 live flies in areas such as “the end of bar counter” and “around tables and chairs in dining room” (with three “landing on dining room tables”) and “by expo window in kitchen.”

They were also seen “landing on clean bake trays, containers and … bowls” and on a prep table on the cook line.

The report also noted: a box of bread stored on the floor, an “accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine/bin,” and baking trays, food containers and bowls stored on a soiled rack in the kitchen. The floor area was “covered with standing water … under three-door freezer unit in kitchen area” and to-go food containers were “not stored inverted or protected from contamination.”

The state also cited two soiled handwash sinks in the women’s restroom, and one soiled toilet each in both the women’s and men’s restrooms.

The restaurant was ordered to stop selling and trash its brisket due to “temperature abuse.”

A next-day inspection found one intermediate violation, and the restaurant was able to reopen.

Agave Bandido
14531 SW Fifth St., Pembroke Pines

Ordered shut: June 4; reopened June 5

Why: 10 violations (four high-priority), including about 12 live flies in areas such as “on bar front counter,” “on prep table storage of clean glasses” and “on prep table in kitchen area.”

A stop sale was ordered on red onions after another eight live flies were found landing on them in the dishwasher area outside of the kitchen. Additionally, raw shrimp were found stored above cooked steak.

Other violations in the bar area included a “handwash sink used for purposes other than handwashing” and “water leaking from pipe and/or faucet/handle under handwash sink.”

The restaurant was allowed to reopen after a next-day inspection found one basic violation.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Let’s Dish Caribbean Restaurant
5083 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach

Ordered shut: June 4; reopened June 5

Why: 18 violations (seven high-priority), including stop-sale orders issued for rice and beans, soup and cooked red beans due to “temperature abuse.”

Food storage violations included:

  • containers of peppers and ginger and a bag of onions on the floor in a walk-in cooler
  • “raw fish stored on top of bottled soft drinks”
  • “raw goat stored in the same container with raw oxtail”
  • “raw fish, raw pork and raw beef all not commercially packaged in chest freezer at kitchen entrance”

The inspection found soil residue on both food- and non-food contact areas, including the “hood at cook line,” “walk-in cooler shelves” and “cutting boards at prep table.” An employee was seen “washing dishes, rinsing and not sanitizing afterwards.”

The restaurant also received violations for not providing hot water at kitchen, cook line and bar sinks, meaning employees were “washing hands in the bathroom,” according to the report. Additionally, a roach spray can was being “used to hold gas lines under steam table.”

Let’s Dish was able to open the next day despite a follow-up visit finding four high-priority, one intermediate and two basic violations.

Mama Restaurant food truck
870 Old Dixie Highway, Lake Park

Ordered shut: June 3; reopened June 4

Why: Eight violations (two high-priority), including operating with “no running water at handwash sink or three-compartment sink” and a broken switch for water dispensing at the handwash sink.

It also was cited because the “operator went outside of food truck with gloves on, returned without changing gloves or washing hands and proceeded to prepare food.”

After a follow-up inspection the next day found one intermediate violation, the food truck was allowed to reopen.

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