Food & Dining

Bugs in rice and rodents in beans. Sedano’s, Kmart, Fausto’s make Gross Grocers list

Diversity abounds in this edition of Gross Grocers, South Florida establishments who failed state Department of Agriculture inspection.

Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties are represented as are many types of businesses — supermarket, bodega, gas station convenience stores, food distributors, food storage places. And there’s the usual variety of violations involving rodents, insects, filthy equipment and rooms, bad handwashing.

Oh, for those of you wondering, Penn Dutch is still on the list with listeria concerns. And a Palm Beach County Kmart still has rodents near the dog food.

What follows comes straight from Florida Department of Agriculture inspections. We don’t control who gets inspected (although you can by filing a complaint here) or how strictly. We report without passion or prejudice, but with a shelf of humor and a smidge of judgment.

Because this is such a large list, even more than usual, we’ll just be hitting the highlights of each inspection.

In alphabetical order:

The B’s Family Mart, 13000 NW Seventh Ave., North Miami — Does it get worse than rodents in the aisles and on the shelves?

“Multiple packages of in-house bagged beans opened with rodent droppings and gnawing.”

“Dead rodents on floor in front of sales counter under small unused display cooler ... dead rodent on shelf where laundry detergent is stored.”

“Multiple rodent excreta on shelf area where prepackaged foods are stored. Observed, rodent excreta on shelf where cosmetics are stored. Backroom, observed rodent excreta along walls in a/c unit area.”

Best Buy, 12301 W. Sunrise Blvd., Plantation — No hot water at the restroom handwashing sinks.

Delicias Colombianas, 9546 SW 137th Ave., South Miami-Dade — In the bakery processing area (a bad place for a bakery/cafe to have violations), “both the floor mixer and table top mixer found with old dough residue stuck on the underside and on the beater attachment” and “grinder attachments found with old food residue on knife blade, auger and ring.”

Even worse in that area, “apparent rodent droppings on floor behind flour can, sheeter, floor mixer and table top mixer.”

The food service area’s ice machine featured an “ice chute and interior walls of bin with black mold-like grime.”

Also, “containers of brown and white sugar stored directly next to handsink exposed to splash.”

Downstairs, 13960 SW 56th St., West Miami-Dade — The minimart at this Orion gas station demonstrates it’s not just gas station sushi that can put tumult in your tummy.

“Found prepared tuna salad without date marking. Employee unsure when salad was prepared.” That got tossed, as did the turkey and ham that were open without date marking. Other open turkey and some salami had been in the deli cold case longer than a week. Do not try that at home.

Inspectors often cite ice machines for mold buildup. But this back room ice machine with black mold buildup inspired Inspector Quinton Martin to drop a Stop Use order on it.

And, lo! We’ve all seen those gas station hot dogs that look like they’ve been turning on the rotisserie or warmer since the AOL 1.5. Well, Inspector Martin invoked the two-hour rule for reheated, ready-to-eat food and those hot dogs got tossed. Inspector Martin does not play.

Elme Corporation, 540 Brickell Key Dr., Miami — Brickell Key II condominium residents can’t be happy to see their convenience store on this list.

The inspector saw an employee multitasking, “entering and exiting the area, working in the cashier and serving food to customers without washing his hands.”

Not helping that problem is “employee handwashing sink not installed to allow convenient use by employees as the sink sits too low and the countertop obstructing the ability to reach the handles with ease as evidenced by the lack of employee handwashing.”

They’ve got until April 21 to correct that.

Fausto’s Food Palace, 1105 White St., Key West — Officially, “Fausto’s Gulfstream.” Despite the name, this isn’t some guy’s high end trailer home selling groceries. It’s a market that declares itself “the oldest running Key West business.”

“At the deli area, observed buildup of dry food particles on food contact section of the deli slicer.”

In the same part of the Palace, the inspector saw “knifes placed between an electrical pipe and the wall” and “at the back room area, observed ice scoops placed unprotected on top of the ice machine.”

FedEx Kinkos, 585 W. 49th St., Hialeah — No hot water in the employee toilet room.

A little worrisome with all the paper handling that goes on there.

Islamorada Lobster Company, 90775 Old Highway, Tavernier — In case your crab seemed to have a little too much texture, “directly above processing of ready to eat crab observed ceiling chipping and in disrepair coming apart, not sealed.”

There seemed to be a lot of food getting left behind on the equipment. The reduced oxygen packing machine had “ product residue encrusted.” The knife for filleting fish was “found on top of soiled cooler top not clean.” Inside the steamer used for cooking foods, “encrusted with product residue.” And “cutting boards found with deep cuts and with product residue crusted.”

“While in the processing of sorting cooked stone crabs ready to eat employee not wearing hair restraint, excessive jewelry also observed employee talking on cellphone, and did not wash hands before re engaging to work.”

The Lobster Co. passed Tuesday’s re-inspection.

Kmart, 1201 S. Dixie Hwy., Lantana — In February, the inspector found rodents had been on the shelves with the dog food. This time, the inspector found “rodent droppings on shelving near dog food section, underneath shelving in pet area. Observed rub marks on wall and pipes leading from ceiling.”

The inspector dropped a stop use on all retail shelves and the unused pantry back stock room, another place the rodents dropped and ran.

La Candelaria, 12807 SW 42nd St., South Miami-Dade — “Black mold-like grime found on spout of cold juice mixing machine next to coffee machine.”

Somebody turned off the hot water at a handwashing sink. The handwashing sink next to the three-compartment sink didn’t have soap or paper towels.

The kitchen reach-in cold unit “found in disrepair, as it was unable to maintain an internal temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit within food products noted in the cold-holding violation.”

A lot of food got tossed.

La Guadalupana Ice Cream 2, 1417 State Rd. 7, Davie — No hot water in the restroom hand washing sink and no valid 2019 food permit.

Lion Green Produce, 1200 NW 22nd St., Miami — The “major food distributor” has no approved sewage system and no proof of an approved water system.

M and L Enterprises of Belle Glade Meat Market, 1417 NW Avenue L, Belle Glade — “Observed rodent droppings on gallons of cooking oil and on various retail shelves.” In the backroom, “rodent droppings on the floor inside walk-in cooler, on floor next to storage rack.”

In the meat department, the “hot water value was turned off at the handwashing sink.”

Malaga Distributors Corporation, 13941 SW 143rd Ct., South Miami-Dade — No hot water at the employee restroom handwash sink, no approved sewage system and no proof of approved water system by this company, classified as a “Major Food Distributor.”

Meridian Food Market, 812 Sixth St., Miami Beach — An “insect in one 3-pound bag of Mahatma brand white rice on a shelf.”

Chopped tomatoes and chicken wings thrown out after being kept too warm and too cold, respectively.

Not much cleaning out in the kitchen area, and the restroom opens directly onto the kitchen.

National Cakes Bakery, 11300 Quail Roost Dr., South Miami-Dade — “Container of cooked shredded beef found uncovered below the walk-in cooler condensing unit ... product was voluntarily destroyed for other reasons.”

Like, the walk-in cooler unit had no cool.

“Multiple items cooked (Tuesday) and not used today, measured out of temperature using a calibrated thermometer inside the walk-in cooler.”

But, they were a balanced operation. The hot holding unit measured just as worthless as the walk-in cooler, causing a few picnic baskets worth of food to be tossed from there.

“Food residue and debris found floating inside sanitizer solution at ware wash sink.”

Northlake BP, 165 U.S. 1, North Palm Beach — “Several rodent droppings on floor and inside unused bathroom used to store single use items (utensils).” The inspector hit that area with a Stop Use.

In the retail area, “container used for tongs and spoons not clean, has dried food residue on sides of container.”

Papa Corn’s House, 15585 SW 177th Ave., South Miami-Dade — “Owner was unable to provide source/manufacturer information for several food products found in the establishment: tamales, peanut butter bars, honey, hatching eggs. Stop-sale issued for tamales, peanut butter bars, and honey.”

The same thing happened at the last inspection.

The reach-in cold display unit’s Stop Use remained in effect from previous failure that put it on our last Gross Grocers report.

Penn Dutch, 3950 N. 28th Ter., Hollywood — Speaking of the last Gross Grocers report, starring Penn Dutch....

The last re-inspection, Thursday, said, “All areas of the facility used for food production or food storage including the following: rail and dairy cooler; production kitchen walk-in cooler; ham pump room; receiving area large walk-in freezer; and receiving large walk-in cooler with product inside remain under Stop Sale and Stop Use.”

The Stop Sale dropped on 17,327.39 pounds of ready to eat foods on March 9 was lifted, but Penn Dutch management had trashed all of that already.

The Penn Dutch website says, “Over the next few weeks, our Hollywood store may not have all of the products that you are used to buying. We have a daily truck delivery from our Margate store. Given a couple of days notice, we are happy to transfer whatever you’d like from our Margate store to our Hollywood store.”

Penn Dutch, 3201 N. State Rd. 7, Margate — “All areas that were under Stop Use orders have been washed, rinsed, sanitized, checked and released. All equipment, except for the chopper (from the Hollywood store), are released from the Stop Use orders..”

That was on one Focused Inspection from Wednesday. Another one by the same inspector said, “The entire Boar’s Head section of the deli, including all food storage units, sub shop, Boar’s Head slicers and the hot case are under stop use due to presence of listeria upon sampling facility.” Penn Dutch destroyed 90 pounds of meats and cheeses.

Sabor Tropical, 800 NE Fifth Ave., Miami — The Ice-O-Matic processing area and meat department ice machines had “soil like residue through out ice dispensing area.”

They had to throw out chopped tomatoes (64 degrees), sliced ham (66 degrees), sliced turkey (65 degrees) and sliced pork (67 degrees) that were supposed to be cooled under 41 degrees.

In the meat department, there was open deli ham dated March 2. This inspection was March 20.

Sedano’s, 6430 NW 186th St., Northwest Miami-Dade — This is the second straight Gross Grocers list that includes a Sedano’s.

“Food employee was observed washing and rinsing pans in ware wash sink and skipping the sanitizer step.”

In the deli area, an open pack of prosciutto ham didn’t say when it was opened and an employee couldn’t say when it was opened.

Bags of carrots on a pallet sat under a leaking condenser unit pipe.

Trashed from the retail area for being kept at hazardously warm temperatures were packs of bean sprouts; packs of alfalfa sprouts; whole cooked spiral hams; sliced cooked ham; sugar sliced ham; prestige ham steaks; chicken nuggets; white cheese slice; and packs of sweet ham on shelves in the meat section.

Shell, 8701 NW 13th Ter. Doral — No handwashing sink in the rear processing area and the inspector watched someone multi-task with money and food without washing hands.

Cooked pork stored inside shopping bag. The report didn’t say whether it was a yellow plastic bag from Sedano’s, a Little Brown Bag from Bloomingdales or one of those multi-colored things your grandmother uses, but either way, that’s not food grade. Pork trashed.

The term “excessively dirty” got applied to a cutting board, the walk-in cooler food storage area and the walk-in cooler floor.

Shell, 4150 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens — No hot water at any of the sinks, despite the water heater being worked on since the previous inspection.

Tasty Supermarket, 3625 NW 191st St., Miami Gardens — The deli slicer had old food residue because it hadn’t been cleaned from not clean from prior date.

Ham, turkey and roast beef were thrown out for not being kept properly cooled by the apparently not-effective-enough cooling unit.

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.