The government shutdown may have halted food inspection operations at the Food and Drug Administration, making us think twice about what we buy from grocery stores. But at least Florida restaurant inspectors are still walking the beat, making sure that your favorite eat-out spot isn't cutting corners (someone's gotta pick up the slack, right?).
From Pensacola to Key West, the Florida Department of Professional and Business Regulation conducts random inspections throughout the state and releases a list of locations each week that received emergency closures due to violations.
Of course, inspections are business as usual for government, you know, making sure we're safe from unsanitary eating conditions and all. Most weeks, fewer than ten restaurants receive emergency closure orders. But every now and then, the state goes apeshit on the restaurant industry, and it just so happens that this week, inspectors closed 17 restaurants across the state, including 13 from Broward/Miami/Palm Beach counties.
Most often, it's little hole-in-the-wall spots that get the most closures, but not this time. Most violations were for rodent activity, but some were closed due to sewage leaks and unlicensed activity. By Friday, October 4, all of them were open upon reinspection, except for one that was closed for unlicensed activity.
Broward/Palm Beach counties
Crystal Restaurant, 7895 W. Sample Road., Coral Springs; 10 violations, including dead roaches, pesticides/insecticides labeled for household use only in the restaurant, and person in charge lacks knowledge of food-borne illnesses.
Pepe's Hideaway, 1045 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 11 violations, including rodent droppings, live rodents, and "accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine."
Antojitos Emerelda, 7802 Wiles Road, Coral Springs; 9 violations, including roach activity, cold food held greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and employee not wearing hair restraint while preparing food.
Chez MLS Restaurant Inc., 3760 NE Third Ave., Pompano Beach; 38 violations, including dead roaches, employees using hand wash sink as dump sink, and washing hands with cold water.
Breakfast Bar, 1750 NW 107th Ave., Miami; closed for unlicensed activity.
El Brinco Restaurant, 590 E. Hialeah Drive, Hialeah; 12 violations, including roach activity, roach droppings, and employee smoking in a food preparation area.
Half Moon Empanadas, 860 NE 79th St., Miami; 19 violations, including dead roaches, backed-up sewage/wastewater, and expired license.
Chico's Fish and Chicken Soul Food, 1112 NW 62nd St., Miami; 10 violations, including roach activity, toxic substance stored with food, and manager lacking proof of food manager certification.
Chimu Peruvian Restaurant, 7868 NW 52nd St., Miami; 8 violations, including backed-up sewage/wastewater in floor drains, cold food stored at temperatures greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit, and uncleanable knife block used to store knives.
La Uchirena Rapid Food, 7880 NW 52nd St., Doral; 12 violations, including toxic substance stored with single-serving food items, backed-up sewage/wastewater in floor drains, and ready-to-eat food not properly marked with dates.
With federal government food inspections at a standstill, watch what you eat. And equally important: Watch where you go to eat.
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