Florida restaurants briefly closed by state inspectors

Florida restaurant inspectors decided to flex some muscle recently and temporarily closed a bunch of restaurants across the state.

Vermin infestations and other critical violations of state sanitation and safety laws found by inspectors at three South Florida restaurants last week prompted the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation to temporarily close them.

Omar Seafoods, 2111 N.W. 10th Ave., Miami was temporarily closed Aug. 11 for 5 critical violations. A health and safety inspector observed ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous food prepared on site and held more than 24 hours that was not properly date-marked; there was no conspicuously located thermometer in a holding unit; a required consumer advisory for raw/undercooked animal food was not provided and was corrected on site and potentially hazardous food in the pastry hot box that contained beef and cheese was not held at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Also, more than 50 live roaches were found in the kitchen: more than 40 were on a wire shelf, underneath prep tables, inside the oven and on the floor, and more than 10 roaches were seen in a storage room, 15-feet away from the kitchen.

L’Express Sandwisherie at SBS Tower, 2601 S. Bayshore Drive, Miami was closed Aug. 8 for operating without a license and 11 other critical violations that included no hand-washing sign, cleanser or drying provisions at an employee hand-washing sink; improper temperatures of hot and cold, potentially hazardous foods; an employee was observed preparing food, handling clean equipment or touching single-service items without washing hands; the food manager lacked proof of certification; sanitizer was not used in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations; a hand-wash sink was used for other purposes; no 3-compartment sink was provided and the men’s room was closed.

El Tio Coin Laundry & Cafeteria, 1664 N.W. 17th Ave., Miami was briefly closed Aug. 9 with 11 critical violations that included a rodent infestation. Other citations were for ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous food that was prepared on site and held more than 24-hours that was not properly date-marked; raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food in a reach-in cooler; hand-washing sinks in rest rooms lacked drying provisions; no proof of required employee training provided; slime was built up in the ice machine; food was stored in ice used for drinks; a food preparation employee wore jewelry other than a plain ring on his or her hands/arms; there were no hand-washing signs at sinks used by employees; no conspicuously located thermometer in a holding unit; no chemical test kit for sanitizer at the 3-compartment sink or ware-washing machine and more than 63 fresh rodent droppings were found on kitchen shelves above the 3-compartment sink, underneath the microwave and grill table and on the floor.

Four Jacksonville-area restaurants — including three at River City Marketplace — were forced to temporarily close last week after a state inspector found excessive roach activity during routine, unannounced visits.

Wasabi Japanese Restaurant, A & D Buffalos and Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina each closed briefly to address conditions that posed "an elevated risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public."

A fourth restaurant, Pasta Market Italian Restaurant in Orange Park, also briefly closed to correct problems noted in an inspector’s report.

Ireland reports 17% increase in food safety enforcement orders in 2009

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today stated that there were a total of 54 Enforcement Orders – including 34 Closure Orders — served for breaches in food safety legislation in 2009 compared with 46 in 2008, an increase totaling 17%.

The FSAI today re-emphasized that it is unacceptable that food businesses were continuing to breach food safety laws and warned all food business operators to place robust food safety measures and hygiene practices top of their agenda for the new decade or face the full rigors of the law being imposed.

Prof Alan Reilly, Chief Executive, FSAI, said,

“Consumers have to be confident that the food they are eating is safe to eat and the FSAI will continue to take a zero tolerance policy to breaches of food safety legislation. Food business operators should take full advantage of the information and support made available by the FSAI and its official agencies to ensure a basic and consistent food safety management plan is developed and put in place in line with legislation.”