Food News

Aw, Rats: Inspectors Shut Down Two Local Restaurants

When the Inspector's away, the mice will play.

Two restaurants got popped last week for what's called "rodent activity." Before you ask, no, that's not the latest underground, cult horror film. But it could be. 

By that I mean if you eat there. 

Check out the grievous details after the jump.

Fu Wa Chinese Restaurant
2465-2467 NW 40th Ave., Lauderhill

Busted for: Rodent activity on 9/14/2010 and 9/15/2010. 

Fu Wa in Lauderhill racked up 14 critical violations during a surprise inspection last Wednesday. Some of the stuff is your standard I-can't-believe-how-dirty-this-place-is sort of fare: Food contact surfaces crusted with grease; soiled reach ins; unsanitary prep stations; raw chicken being stored in the same container with cheese-filled rangoon. Nothing good, basically. 

But the real show stopper came in the form of fresh rat droppings found near the handwashing sink, the reach in freezer, and the hot water freezer. It culminated with the discovery of one rodent going belly up by the same freezer. 

Well at least he was dead.

The restaurant reopened on 9/16 and is pending another follow-up inspection.

Elbaum's Gourmet Deli at Bageland
13800 S. Jog Road, Delray Beach

Busted for: Rodent activity on 9/15/2010 (and so much more).

Elbaum's Gourmet Deli must have set some sort of record last Wednesday. Inspectors reported 53 critical and 33 non-critical violations in the restaurant for a total of 86 health violations

Going through this stuff is like watching an episode of Fear Factor. I can't imagine eating in a restaurant this filthy. Here are some of the highlights:

* A bag of rotten potatoes hanging out in dry storage, oozing liquid and serving as a nest for flies.
* Ready-to-eat food stored under the pipes by the hand sink.
* Open food containers just sort of hanging out, including sugar and whole buckets of cooked noodles.
* Slime build up inside the ice machine and encrusted material clinging to the deli slicer.
* "Objectionable odors" observed throughout the kitchen and dish room.
* Gnaw marks found on packages of pasta, noodles, and flour.

And, the grossest bit, ladies and gentlemen:

Inspectors found literally countless rodent droppings all over the restaurant, including "hundreds" by the back door, the soda syrups, and the prep kitchen. Rodents also, apparently, loved to take their morning constitutionals by the soda machines, prep tables, dish room, food speed racks, walk-in cooler, and countless food containers. To add insult to injury, inspectors found a single live roach by the walk-in cooler. 

That doesn't sound like "activity." That sounds like a full-scale infestation.

Repeat inspections have since seen some of these myriad violations corrected, but the most recent inspection on 9/17 notes there were still rodent droppings found in the restaurant. 

Buyer beware.