Restaurant closed due to a cockroach infestation

I have always been curious to see what others thought on the following:
How many chances should the Health Department give a food service/retail establishment that has been chronically shut down before permanently having their business license rescinded?
I’m not talking about the minor violations that are encountered during a routine inspection, more of the deliberate critical infractions that can severely impact public health. As practicing food safety professionals, where do we draw the line? Inspections are a snap shop in time and food safety resonates upon behaviors for positive change. But what do we do with those select few places that simply don’t care and abide by the mentality that if I am fined, well it’s the cost of doing business? I’ve heard this and I’m sure others have as well. I would love to hear what Barfblog readers have to say regarding this matter.

A vile cockroach-infested restaurant has been shut down after revolting insects were discovered throughout the dilapidated building.
The pests were found hiding in the fridge door seal, preventing it from closing properly, and crawling around exposed foods, food containers and over kitchen surfaces.
Guildford Magistrates’ Court heard stomach-turning evidence of how owner Amjad Parvez Butt had been seen coughing over food, then failing to use soap when washing his hands.
Mr Butt was charged with seven counts of food safety and hygiene regulations contravention, all of which he pleaded guilty to.
Under routine inspection on June 27 last year, an environmental health officer from Rushmoor Borough Council visited the Lali Gurash Nepalese restaurant in Aldershot.
In the initial report, read to the court on Wednesday (February 14), the officer said: “When I arrived, I witnessed Mr Butt coughing while preparing food – he then washed his hands without using soap.”
The general first impression was that Mr Butt was not preparing food safely and an in depth inspection began.
After examining the fridge, it became apparent the door would not close properly due to a number of cockroaches living within the door seal.
The officer also noticed the building had structural damage, including a hole in the wall, through which clear daylight could be seen and gaps in the flooring near the waste pipes.
Further evidence of insect activity was discovered in the basement, around food preparation areas and in the proximity of exposed onions and potatoes.
During the inspection it also became apparent that Mr Butt had not been filling in the mandatory safer food, better business (SFBB) checks that RBC enforces, with the last entry filed more than five weeks prior to the visit.
The restaurant was closed and Mr Butt was ordered to arrange for a pest control team to install traps throughout the building.
A few days later, officers returned to discover a full life cycle of cockroaches in the traps, indicating that they had been present in the area for a minimum of six weeks.
Officers consistently monitored the progress of the restaurant until July 20, when, in the absence of any infestation, it was deemed acceptable for re-opening.
During the scheduled three-month re-visit, Mr Butt was asked to produce his SFBB documents, which he was unable to do, and the restaurant was once again closed.
In court, with the assistance of a translator, he explained that he was unable to read and write and claimed that his daughter was going to complete the checks for him but was away on holiday at the time.
The 53-year-old said: “When I first noticed the cockroaches I bought some spray and contacted pest control but they never got back to me.
“When I was told to close the restaurant and destroy the food, I did.
“I have lost a lot of profit and it is the first time this has happened – I ask for forgiveness.”

The rest of the story can be found here

Where did the hog come from?

Who knows….. I have run in to similar problems when I was in the field and it is incredible the stories people make up when you ask for the origin of products. If it is not from an approved source, just say it and get it out of your restaurant.

Zack McDonald of News Herald writes:

A whole hog of questionable origins and more than 100 live roaches led inspectors in December to temporarily halt operations for the second time at a Panama City Beach restaurant, according to health inspection reports.
It was the only restaurant reported to have been issued an emergency closure in the past month.
In December, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) issued an emergency closure for Cool Runnings Caribbean Cuisine, 13312 Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach. Sanitation and safety specialists reported finding conditions that could contribute directly to a food-borne illness or injury at the time of their inspection. Cool Runnings, however, corrected the issues that led to the closure and was allowed to reopen within a day, state inspectors reported.
DBPR specifies the inspections are snapshots of a business at that time only. Cool Runnings has an active state licenses and is currently open. It is, however, the second time within the past few months the business has been temporarily shuttered for health violations, according to DBPR reports.
On Dec. 5, inspectors reported arriving at Cool Runnings about 2 p.m. to find a whole hog being stored in a reach-in freezer. After the restaurant was unable to provide an invoice or receipt to show the hog’s origins, inspectors issued a “stop sale” order on the food item, DBPR reported.
Inspectors also reported finding more than 100 live roaches in various areas of the kitchen.
“Observed 75 live roaches on the shelf next to root beer reach in cooler, in the back prep area,” inspectors wrote. “Observed 16 live roaches on the wall by root beer reach-in cooler. Upon eight live roaches underneath the prep table in back prep area. Observed five live roaches behind two-door reach in cooler in back prep area. Observed four live roaches underneath the three compartment sink in back prep area.”
Management of Cool Runnings did not return a request for comment on the closure. DBPR reported the business corrected the issue and was allowed to reopen the following morning about 10:30 a.m.
In August, inspectors reported finding flying insects in the restaurant’s kitchen, food preparation area and food storage area. In addition to the business operating with an expired DBPR license, officials also reported finding about 75 live roaches in areas near the restaurant’s hot water heater, underneath a reach-in cooler and around an umbrella during that visit.
That was the first emergency closure issued to the business since it opened in February, DBPR records indicated.
The closure brings the total to 21 for 2017 in the central Panhandle. The bulk of the closures occurred since the end of June after a two-month stint during which DBPR went without a closure.

Oh Kansas, what is wrong? Downtown Lawrence restaurant reopens day after closing for nearly 100 live roaches

A downtown Lawrence restaurant voluntarily closed its doors earlier this month after a health inspector discovered nearly 100 live roaches on the premises.

Yokohama SushiA day later, Yokohama Sushi, 811 New Hampshire St., reopened. For area diners unfamiliar with the inspection process, it may seem like a fast turnaround, but a Kansas Department of Agriculture spokesperson called it a typical timeline.

On May 2, a restaurant inspection at Yokohama discovered the roaches, explained Heather Lansdowne, a spokesperson for the KDA. The next day, the restaurant voluntarily closed its doors and underwent a follow-up inspection, which found additional live roaches, though fewer in number. A pest control company was called in to treat the restaurant for the insects, caulking and baiting areas around water lines, crevices, cracks and near equipment, according to the inspector’s report. A second follow-up inspection later that day discovered no roaches, and the restaurant was listed back in compliance with health codes, the report says.

The restaurant reopened May 4.

A Yokohama representative did not return phone calls from the Journal-World seeking comment for this story.

When asked whether a single day of work was enough to clear up a significant roach problem and make a restaurant sanitary for its customers, Lansdowne said the restaurant followed a usual pattern based on the department’s standards.

Australian restaurant owner ignored cockroach issue because of vegetarianism

Dani was a vegetarian for a while; but she was pretty good at killing pests in the basement apartment we had in college. We collectively addressed a mouse problem with a mix of bait and traps and saved our pantry.

According to the Canberra Times, a vegetarian restaurant owner cited moral issues with “killing little insects” as a reason for a cockroach infestation.

Kingsland Vegetarian Restaurant was on Thursday fined $16,000 for eight food safety breaches.7372_10152201579715906_8614767365661662283_n

Kingsland Vegetarian Restaurant owner Khanh Hoang was originally charged with 12 breaches of the Food Act. He pleaded guilty to eight offences and appeared for sentence in the ACT

Court documents said the northside eatery – which specialises in vegetarian cuisine – had been granted an operation certificate in December 2012. Inspectors raided the restaurant four months later after a public tip-off to discover the breaches, which included a cockroach infestation, incorrect food storage, a dirty kitchen and equipment and obstructed and faulty handwashing facilities.

Court documents said: “The presence of insects is a key indicator that surfaces are unclean and food is left unattended.”

The toilet did not have an air-lock or self-closing door, which meant it opened directly into the kitchen.

Food had been stored in uncovered containers inside the dishwasher and freezer.

Surfaces and equipment – such as stove top and dirty pots, pans and trays – had been left uncleansed, and covered in dirt, food waste and debris.

Mr Hoang attended an interview with the Health Protection Service in June 2013, where he admitted he had been aware of the cockroach infestation but did not carry out pest control measures as it involved “killing”.

The lawyer said his client had passionate vegan values but accepted, in hindsight, that his morals had been misguided.

Mr Hoang now brought in a pest control team on a regular basis, has since won awards, and appointed a food safety supervisor.

I wonder what part of vegetarian morals storing food in a dishwasher and failing to clean and sanitize food contact surfaces falls into.

$20,000 fine for Gold Coast eatery after health inspectors find roach ridden kitchen

With temperatures heading to 95F (35C), Sorenne is off to the beach today with a friend, before hockey (the ice kind) later this afternoon. I told this to daughter Braunwynn yesterday, who is ordering boat drinks in the 16F (-9C) London, Ontario, and she told me to go f*** myself.

They grow up so fast.

The Sai Tandoori Indian restaurant in up-market Main Beach was first slapped with a clean-up compliance order in March last year after a The Sai Tandoori Indian restaurantroutine inspection from Gold Coast City Council health inspectors uncovered grease, grime and cockroach remains in the food preparation area.

When they came back on July 3, the problem was worse.

A surprise inspection a week later led to owner Sandeep Kumar Soni being charged with two counts of breaching basic food standards under the Food Act.

Photographs were tendered in the Southport Magistrates Court Friday showing live and dead cockroaches littering the restaurant’s kitchen floor, storage areas and above the stovetop, where food was cooking in uncovered pots.

Prosecutor Nick Hatcher, for the council, said when inspectors shifted the deep freezer unit they found a nest of cockroach eggs and numerous live cockroaches.

They also found food waste, grime, grease and dust encrusted on cooking equipment and on the handwashing station, and human hair in the cutlery storage area.

However Mr Hatcher said the restaurant had since been given a clean bill of health.

Magistrate Paul Johnstone ordered him to pay a $20,000 fine, $1500 in professional costs and $83.90 in court costs.

Toronto restaurant fined maximum $20K for heavy cockroach problem

Oh Scarberia, suburb of Toronto, home to Mike Myers and some of the Barenaked Ladies. Why do your restaurants suck?

A takeout restaurant in Scarborough was fined $20,000 – the maximum penalty – after pleading guilty to four food-safety violations, including a "heavy" cockroach infestation.

The guilty plea last Friday by Chandra’s Takeout Restaurant and Catering, at 201 Markham Rd., related to problems that closed it Aug. 24 to Aug. 28. It has since reopened and passed full inspections on Aug. 28 and Nov. 6.

The restaurant was fined $5,000 for each of four infractions: not controlling a pest/insect infestation; failing to protect food from contamination; not having a certified food handler; and for obstructing Toronto Public Health’s red closure sign while the restaurant was shut down in August.

Rats, mice and cockroaches, oh my – UK KFC needs to clean up

KFC may be dabbling with marketing food safety (see the lid from a bucket of chicken), but marketing has to be backed up with data. And having a lousy restaurant inspection report will turn anyone’s stomach, no matter how many checkmarks are on things.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is being prosecuted after environmental health inspectors reported finding cockroaches, mice and flies at one of its busiest UK restaurants.

Officials from Westminster Council said that a cockroach scurried across a counter when they visited the fast food outlet in Leicester Square, central London.

They claimed a mouse was seen running across the floor and flies buzzed around their heads at the Coventry Street premises, Press Association reports.

In total, KFC faced 13 charges brought under food hygiene regulations following an inspection on August 15 last year. It has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Paraguay, cockroaches, and food safety

I arrived to Paraguay yesterday, escaping the freezing rain from Kansas right on time. It was close to 90 °F (around 30° C). A lot of my friends back in Kansas were jealous, but with 50% humidity, the heat is almost unbearable.

This weather is also perfect for disease-transmitting mosquitoes and cockroaches. I have almost substituted body lotion with bug spray. And just yesterday, a dandy cockroach was climbing the curtains beside my bed (picture to the right).

I cannot even imagine how many of these are roaming the restaurants that I normally go to. Actually, I’m not even sure if there is a governmental agency dedicated to food safety or anything of the sort. If there is, I probably wouldn’t trust it.

Paraguay is one of the poorest nations in South America, with poverty levels of up to 50 percent and rising. Our government is a fiasco; corruption is institutionalized. We have lots to worry about.

The culture of food safety that Doug is all over about is not often one of these worries. I didn’t know what that meant until I became a news puller. It will be interesting to ask around and see what people think.

I will introduce my dad to the meat thermometer the next time he cooks an asado – typical barbecue of the region pic bellow – and I will report my findings. So keep tuned.

Roaches, slime may force Szechuan Panda in Gainesville to close

Yes, Mr. Kang, Chinese food can be cooked to food safety regulations.

The Gainesville Sun reports that a Florida judge has recommended shutting down the Szechuan Panda Chinese Restaurant for repeated health violations that were not corrected over several inspections between December 2007 and March of this year.

Administrative Law Judge Ella Jane Davis issued the recommended order Nov. 19 after an Aug. 5 hearing for owner Yu Zeng Kang to dispute a complaint filed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

Daniel Fulton, senior sanitation and safety specialist with the division, inspected the restaurant five times between Dec. 19, 2007, and March 30, 2008. He reported repeat violations that included live roaches in food preparation and food service areas, dead roaches throughout the building, food stored at improper temperatures, an "unidentified slime" growing in a food container, food stored directly on the floor and improper utensils used to handle food.

According to the judge’s order, Kang responded through an interpreter that most of the violations were because "Chinese cooking was not conducive to meeting the regulations."

Kang also testified that dead roaches were swept out every night, however the judge noted that those found the following morning remained until the nightly cleaning, the order said.

Sydney Pizza Hut fails third cockroach inspection by the Australian name-and-shame squad

Think a few small bugs won’t hurt you?  Think again. Cockroaches are one of the most commonly noted pest insects.  They can cause chaos in the food safety standards of a restaurant because they transport harmful microbes on their body surfaces and through their droppings.  Cockroaches are also found to be a common allergen for humans.

Last week, after two previous warnings about cockroaches in the kitchen, food safety inspectors returned to a Sydney, Australia Pizza Hut only to discover a cockroach in the food preparation area of the kitchen.

The store was issued with a $650 fine for not taking steps to eradicate the pests, and a second fine for not having warm running water in the kitchen for staff to wash their hands…The Pizza Hut was one of 22 premises the Food Authority fined in its blitz in recent days, in which it issued a total of 27 fines.
They will join more than 175 outlets on the authority’s website, launched last year to "name and shame" businesses that do not comply with NSW hygiene laws.

The best way to deal with cockroaches is to prevent them before they become present.   Keep kitchen surfaces clean and store food off the ground.  However, if a restaurant already suffers from cockroaches, the problem should be eliminated and the reason behind the infestation should also be addressed.  There are various chemicals and traps available for cockroaches, some more traditional than others.

For more information about cockroach infestations, visit:
You can also view an FSN infosheet about cockroaches at