Roaches, rodent droppings and ‘raw chicken stored over guava pastries’: 3 South Florida restaurants shut

Rodent droppings, dead roaches and food storage issues such as open bag of raw chicken stored over guava pastries resulted in the state shutting three South Florida restaurants 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.)

BROWARD COUNTY

Costa Sur Cuban Cafe
640 E. Sample Road, Pompano Beach

Ordered shut: July 3; reopened July 3

Why: 31 violations (10 high-priority), including about 20 rodent droppings “observed on shelving, packaged single-serve items, on the window sill, and beneath storage rack in dry storage room.”

The restaurant also received violations for improper food storage, including:

  • “Raw ground beef not in original packaging stored over raw chicken no longer in original package in reach-in freezer in dry storage”
  • “Opened bag of raw chicken stored over guava pastries in reach-in freezer in dry storage”
  • “Bowl of raw pork chops stored over water and juice in pitchers in reach-in cooler in prep area”
  • “Raw meats stored in direct contact with to-go bags in reach-in, single-door freezer in dry storage”
  • “Cheese wrapped in brown paper towels in reach-in cooler in kitchen”
  • “Bottle of Gorilla Glue stored on shelf above rice warmer”
  • “Potato balls stored uncovered in reach-in freezer door in dry storage room”

The state report also cited the restaurant for having “equipment and utensils not washed, rinsed and sanitized in the correct order in three-compartment sink,” “ice buildup in reach-in cooler at front counter” and “accumulation of grease and food debris” in the toaster oven and microwave.

Stop sales were ordered for black beans and rice pudding due to “temperature abuse.”

A follow-up inspection the same day found three intermediate and two basic violations, and the restaurant was allowed to reopen.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Chaiyo Thai Bistro
14812 S. Military Trail, Delray Beach

Ordered shut: July 2; reopened July 3

Why: Nine violations (four high-priority), including approximately seven live roaches in the kitchen — “on ground in front of far-left hand wash sink on cook line” and “on underside/wall of far left cook line three-door, flip-top” cooler.

Food storage issues included:

  • “Noodles stored on floor in prep area, multiple items stored on floor in walk-in cooler/freezer”
  • “Multiple food items stored in direct contact in plastic-handle, to-go bags in walk-in freezer”
  • “Raw pork stored on top of ready-to-eat mushrooms in cook line flip-top”
  • “Raw salmon stored above Brussels sprouts in walk-in cooler”

The report also cited temperature issues involving the restaurant’s sprouts and a cooked egg, and noted that raw shrimp was seen “thawing in standing water at prep sink.”

The restaurant was able to reopen the next day after a follow-up visit found no violations.

Havana Nights Cuban Pizza
1180 S. Congress Ave., Unit 101, Palm Springs

Ordered shut: July 2; reopened July 3

Why: Nine violations (four high-priority), including five live roaches and 10 dead roaches found in the kitchen “on floor under dry storage shelves.”

Stop sales were ordered for ham and pulled pork “due to temperature abuse.”

The state also cited the restaurant for having an “opened box of raw comminuted beef stored over opened container of ice cream” in a reach-in freezer and a mounted can opener blade “soiled with food debris, mold-like substance or slime” on a prep table.

Havana Nights reopened the next day after a follow-up inspection found no violations.

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