By Kevin Deutsch
A pho restaurant in Margate was temporarily shut down after state health inspectors found rodent droppings and insects inside the eatery, among other violations, state records show.
Atlantic Pho, 5408 West Atlantic Blvd., was ordered shut on June 29 but has since reopened, according to the records.
During an inspection based on a complaint, state inspectors found 23 violations for issues that included:
“Rodent activity present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. -Observed 23 rodent droppings on top of dishwashing machine. No walls or barriers separating dishwashing area from cook line. Observed approximately 10 rodent droppings throughout dry storage areas. Observed approximately 15 rodent droppings in wait station.”
“Live, small flying insects in kitchen, food preparation area, food storage area and/or bar area. Observed 3 live flying insects landing on in-use food preparation table on cook line. Observed approximately 20 live flying insects landing on bag with onions in dry storage area. Repeat Violation.”
“Accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine/bin. Observed accumulation of black mold-like substance buildup inside ice machine. Repeat Violation.”
“Wall soiled with accumulated grease, food debris, and/or dust. Observed accumulation of old food residue buildup on walls throughout kitchen.”
“Raw animal food stored over/not properly separated from ready-to-eat food. Observed raw chicken wings stored over salad in walk-in cooler.”
“Buildup of food debris/soil residue on equipment door handles. Observed accumulation of soiled residue buildup on reach in coolers doors.”
“Floor not cleaned when the least amount of food is exposed. Observed accumulation of old food residue buildup underneath cooking equipment and floor throughout kitchen.”
“Nonfood-contact surface soiled with grease, food debris, dirt, slime or dust. Observed accumulation of old food residue buildup and grease buildup on shelves underneath food preparation tables throughout kitchen.”
“Objectionable odors in bathroom or other areas of the establishment.”
“Dish machine chlorine sanitizer not at proper minimum strength. Discontinue use of dish machine for sanitizing and set up manual sanitization until dish machine is repaired and sanitizing properly. -Observed chlorine sanitizer at dishwashing machine at 00 ppm.”
“Hand wash sink used for purposes other than hand washing. -Observed a food container stored in hand wash sink in kitchen. Repeat Violation.”
“Employee with no hair restraint while engaging in food preparation. Observed 1 employee engaging in food preparation with no hair restraint. Repeat Violation.”
The restaurant later passed a follow-up inspection, records show.
- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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