Cockroaches, sewage in Miami FL area, Palm Beach restaurants

In addition to the cockroaches and flies and the quality of cleaning not being up to par, there seemed to be a lot of standing water on this week’s sick and down list.

Unlike water, we’re not on position, so let’s go.

UNDERSTAND THE HOUSE RULES: The following comes from Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation restaurant inspections in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe counties. A restaurant that fails the inspection remains closed until it passes an inspection.

If you notice a problem and want to have a place inspected, contact the DBPR. Don’t call us. Do not email us. We do not control who is inspected or the rigor with which the inspector inspects. Again, we do not control who is inspected.

We don’t include all violations, just the most emotional ones, whether internal or literally emotional (because they are alive or have been alive). Some violations are corrected after the inspector reports them. But, you have to ask yourself, why do violations exist in the first place? And how long would they have been without the inspection?

We report without passion or prejudice but with a humorous accompaniment.

In alphabetical order…

Camila’s Restaurant, 129 SE First Ave., Miami: Routine inspection, 23 violations in total, three high priority violations.

“The open condiments provided for self-service are not properly protected…at the self-service counter, near the handy cooler with desserts: chimichurri and pickled sauce uncovered. In other words, one achoo and you have sneeze sauce added to the menu. I hope you will have sick days.

At least nine live cockroaches, including at least seven “crawling over and inside holes in the wall”. Five dead cockroaches lay under the rolling hot box.

The cutting board on the first floor was a “food contact surface soiled with food debris, mold-like substances or mud”.

The first floor kitchen sink had no other way to dry your hands than your shirt or your beat.

Camila came ok for re-inspection the next day.

At Joseito, 496 E. Ninth St., Hialeah: Routine inspection, 17 violations in total, seven high priority violations.

Paper towels can be used to dry dishes – it’s right there in the name, “towel” – or clean counters after hitting them with 409 or Pine Sol (not Fabuloso, who cares what say Abuela or Tia Maria). But for direct washing and disinfection, you are out of the job description.

We say this because the inspector saw more than “20 aluminum kitchen pans stained with food debris stored on a shelf”. The manager told him that “employees clean kitchen pans with kitchen paper after using them and put them back on the shelf for use the next day.”

Needless to say they weren’t properly washed or sanitized. The 17+ flies that roamed the kitchen and next to the clean aluminum pans didn’t care. Elsewhere, more than 40 flies in the storage area landed on six crates of raw potatoes.

Under the kitchen prep tables, next to the walk-in freezer, cold room, and inside the walk-in freezer, you may find standing water.

Oh, and 10 whole turkeys and three cans of beef were thawed at room temperature.

They weren’t hit by the Stop Sale lightning, they just put the walk-in cooler on. But that doesn’t really seem like a solution, since the cooked ground beef, cooked chicken, and cooked pork stayed too hot after spending the night in the cold room. Stop Sale bolts hit it all.

A follow-up visit was made the next day.

Church’s Chicken, 2101 NW 79th St., Miami: Inspection of complaints, nine violations in total, two high priority violations.

“Observation of sewage from floor drain in front kitchen prep/packing area, as well as sewage backup in lavatory sink and sewage in parking lot.”

The mac and cheese in the walk-in was not covered which is just lazy.

There is little staff can do about the design flaw that requires customers to pass through a food preparation, dishwashing, or food storage area to get to the restroom.

The backing up of sewage in the washroom sink remained a re-inspection issue. Church passed further inspection, presumably after a visit from the Roto Rooter man or someone else swinging a snake.

La Portena Cafeteria, 1985 SW Eighth St., Miami: Routine inspection, 12 violations in total, five high priority violations.

More than nine live cockroaches “on the kitchen wall and between the crevices of the shelves next to the cooking line where clean plates live”. Seven live roaches in the three-compartment sink, which means maybe someone should use the three-compartment sink a little more often.

Two live cockroaches, but no hot water at the kitchen sink.

“Raw Chicken in Non-Food Grade Bags” is just waiting to make your customers vomit.

La Portena was closed for four days before passing a new inspection.

La Granja on North Miami Beach, 1901 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach: Routine inspection, 15 violations in total, six high priority violations.

Someone took a chicken breast off the grill and put it on a customer’s plate at 130 degrees, which means they’re serving salmonella at 35 degrees.

Forget the two live cockroaches. Let’s talk about “more than 10 live flies above rotten vegetable debris that is under a double-span cooler where the compressor is”. Or the more than eight live flies above the onions located inside a container located on the dry storage shelf. More than six more flies hanging on the kitchen wall.

“Utensil in use stored in dirty water at or above 135 degrees.”

Standing water under kitchen equipment. Was it really that rainy last week?

La Granja did so during the next day’s re-inspection.

Marriott Hotel 1001 Bistro, 1001 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach: Routine inspection, five violations total, two high priority violations.

Black Flag had the Roach Motel. This Marriott restaurant was a Roach Hotel.

There were the 13 strutting under a handy cooler and one within reach. Two under another handy cooler. Two cockroaches were “crawling near the server station”.

Four dead cockroaches lay around the coolers in the bar.

“The floor is soiled/there is an accumulation of debris” Throughout the bar, under the kitchen equipment and under the reach of the coolers on the cooking line.

When the inspector returned the next day, there was one dead cockroach, but three more “coming from under the cooler on the cooking line”. Looks like they strutted around like raisins in 1980s California Raisin Ads.

This place was re-opened after a re-inspection the same day.

McKenna’s Place, 4068 Forest Hill Blvd., Palm Springs: Inspection of complaints, nine violations in total, two high priority violations.

“Unpleasant odors in kitchen, prep area and bar.”

You pretty much missed your inspection there.

Maybe the bad funk comes from standing water in the back prep area. Or the “ceiling/ceiling tiles/vents stained with accumulated grease and dust, walls with accumulated food in the kitchen”.

Five flies buzzed on the handles of the beer cage. Six live cockroaches and seven dead cockroaches, three of each species in the holes of a kitchen rug, dotted the restaurant.

“Accumulation of dead or trapped birds, insects, rodents or other pests in control devices…seven deaths on a trap located on the wall leading to the staging area.” But the inspector did not say to specify the species. Seven dead birds? Flies? Cockroaches ? Not rodents – they wouldn’t fit.

The wiping cloth disinfectant solution measured zero parts per million. Or, as we call it, water.

Eight dead cockroaches and three live cockroaches zeroed McKenna for two inspections.

They passed the same day a new inspection.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s scope at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing on the Panthers (NHL and CRF), Dolphins, old-school animation, food safety, fraud, lawyers rogues, bad doctors and all kinds of news. He drinks whole coladas. He doesn’t work on Indianapolis 500 race day.

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