Two South Florida restaurants cited by state inspectors

Critical violations of state sanitation and safety laws recently observed by inspectors at two South Florida restaurants prompted the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation to cite the owners and briefly suspend operations, reports show.

Noel Family Restaurant, 1560 N.E. 4th Ave., Fort Lauderdale was briefly closed Jan. 9 after an inspector observed violations that included cooked rice/pasta held at less than 135 degrees Fahrenheit;  a vacuum beaker was missing at an outdoor hose bibb; ready-to-eat stews in a refrigerator were held more than 24 hours and not properly date-marked; there was no conspicuously located ambient air temperature thermometer in a holding unit; a certified food manager or person in charge lacked knowledge of food borne illnesses and symptoms of illness that would prevent an employee from working with food, clean equipment and utensils; a handle-less bowl was used to dispense stew; a rusted shelf was next to the cook line; rusted hinges on a fridge were not durable; a chest freezer was rusted; there was ice built up in a freezer; a chlorine test kit was needed; there was an accumulation of food debris/grease inside a disconnected freezer and on the exterior of a cooler/refrigerator; a sink pipe was leaking; paper towels or a hand drying device were not provided at a hand washing sink; a large amount of unused equipment/supplies were present; there were two dead roaches on the floor behind the bar, there were two dead roaches in a ladies’ room and three dead roaches next to a microwave in the kitchen.

Also, the inspector found 12 dry rodent droppings in a dry storage area; twelve live roaches were on the premises; a wall behind the cook line had accumulated food debris; a kitchen ceiling tile was missing; there was an objectionable odor in the establishment when opening a kitchen chest freezer; lights lacked proper shields and the business license was expired more than 30 days but not more than 60 days.

A follow-up inspection on Jan. 10 did not find evidence of roaches or droppings and the business was allowed to reopen. The owner of the restaurant could not be reached for comment.


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El Castillo de las Frutas Latin Proud 2, 20 NW 11th Ave., Miami was closed Jan. 7 after an inspector observed temperatures for cooked, potentially hazardous food were not properly controlled; a stop sale order was issued for approximately 40 pounds of pork that was being thawed at room temperature; a certified food manager or person in charge lacked knowledge of food borne illnesses and symptoms of illness that would prevent an employee from working with food, clean equipment and utensils. No chlorine chemical test kit was provided when using chlorine sanitizer at a three compartment sink/ware washing machine; the hot water supply was not maintained during peak periods; a hand washing sink was missing, as were paper towels, soap and a sign for employees; a minimum of one bathroom facility was not available for public use and there was no bathroom conveniently located and accessible for employees.

Also, an exterior door that opened to the outside had a gap at the threshold and the outer openings could not be properly sealed when not in operation; the perimeter walls and roof did not effectively protect the establishment against environmental cross-contamination or the entrance of pests; there was an unsealed concrete floor throughout most of the establishment; a wall was in disrepair; living/sleeping quarters opened directly into the food service establishment without complete partitioning and/or self-closing doors; a reach-in cooler was connected to batteries, and electrical wires were frayed/spliced; the establishment was operating without a license and no plan was submitted and approved for renovations that were in progress.

As of Jan. 16, the restaurant was still closed, a state spokeswoman said.

The Crime & Safety blog reports on inspections of South Florida dining spots as the state pursues its goal to visit Florida’s 47,800 licensed restaurants.

If you're going out to eat, search our restaurant databases before you leave home.

The state says it's not the number of violations that will cause a restaurant to be temporarily shut down, but rather the nature of what an inspector finds that merits closing a business.

After a restaurant is shuttered, an inspector typically visits again within 24 hours and continues to visit until violations are resolved and the business can reopen. Repeat critical violations can lead to fines in a future administrative complaint levied by the state.

If a bad dining experience makes you feel ill, it’s easy to complain to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation by calling 850-487-1395 or by filing a report online at MyFloridaLicense.com.  But beware: that’s not the place for personal vendettas. False reports can lead to misdemeanor charges.

And if you haven’t checked out a bistro’s inspection history online before making a reservation, state law requires restaurants to provide customers with a copy.