Philly eateries shut for rodents, lack of food safety smarts

The best-known of this week's closures, Abner's, the cheesesteak joint near the Penn campus, was ordered to cease operations for 48 hours for mouse droppings, roaches, and an infestation of flies.

There are three health violations that are sure to temporarily shut down an eatery in Philadelphia: no hot water, a rodent infestation, and not having an employee on site who has passed a food safety course.

But it's the last infraction - having no one on duty trained to prevent food poisoning - that triggers the overwhelming number of closures.

According to a spokesman for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, eateries usually get one pass. But if an inspector returns, and a food safety certified person is still missing, the business is asked to "discontinue food operations" for at least the rest of the day.

During the last week, the health department temporarily shuttered 19 restaurants and neighborhood groceries. More than half were cited for lacking a food safety certified person on duty.

PH Deli and Grocery, a bodega in Brewerytown, was closed down for the sixth time in three years.

The best-known of this week's closures, Abner's, the cheesesteak joint near the Penn campus, was ordered to cease operations for 48 hours for mouse droppings, roaches, and an infestation of flies. The restaurant did not immediately return calls for comment.

Not one restaurant in Center City was asked to close this week.

The restaurants, bars, lunch carts and groceries listed below were asked to discontinue serving food following inspections conducted between June 27 and July 5. Each inspection is generally regarded as a "snapshot in time" and is not necessarily a reflection of day-to-day conditions at the business. Most violations were corrected immediately on-site.

Unless noted, the businesses were permitted to re-open the next day.

Included with each listing is an edited selection of infractions noted by health department sanitarians. Click on the restaurant's name to see a detailed report.

To look up a restaurant or read more in the Inquirer's Clean Plates series visit Philly.com/cleanplates.

Paesano's Philly Style

152 W GIRARD AVE 19123

18 violations, 5 serious.

Food safety certified person not present; open employee beverage in refrigerator; nonfunctional handwash sink, no soap, no paper towels in employee restroom; accumulated food residue on slicer; food held at hazardous temperatures; dead mouse and mouse droppings throughout facility; employees not wearing hair restraints; floors not clean and must be sanitized. Previously ordered to cease and desist Jan. 29. Inspected July 5.

Peralta Supermarket

2514 W ALLEGHENY AVE 19132

15 violations, 5 serious.

No hot water; food safety certified person not present on arrival; accumulation of food residue on slicer; pesticides stored next to loaves of bread; mouse infestation; mouse droppings and roaches along floor perimeter; employees not wearing hair restraints. Inspected June 5.

PH Deli & Grocery

1400 N ETTING ST 19121

25 violations, 8 serious.

Food safety person not present; 8 boxes of expired baby cereal on retail shelves; food held at hazardous temperatures; insufficient thermometers; house and fruit flies; mouse droppings on retail shelves; cat in basement; no light in restroom; cheese sauce, containing 2.0 grams of trans fat per serving, used as an ingredient. Previously ordered to cease operations five times: Sept. 21, and Sept. 23, 2013; Feb. 13 and Mar. 17, 2015; and July 13, 2015. Inspected July 1.

New York Gyro Lunch

6 S 33RD ST 19104

3 violations, 2 serious.

Person in charge not present; employees donning gloves without a prior handwash; ineffective or no hair restraints. Previously ordered to cease operations May 14 and Dec. 12, 2013. Inspected June 30.

63rd Street Pizza

6300 WHEELER ST 19142

15 violations; 7 serious.

Person in charge not present; uncovered deli meats in walk-in cooler; mouse feces on dough prep unit; accumulated food residue on can opener; food held at hazardous temperatures; general cleaning needed through out, excess grease on floor, clean all areas with mouse feces. Inspected June 30.

Tejada Grocery

2400 W ALLEGHENY AVE 19132

20 violations, 6 serious.

Food safety person not present; insufficient hot water; expired baby food on sale, price tags covered expiration dates; accumulated grease on deep freezer. Inspected June 30.

Juan Becerro Grocery

2639 W SOMERSET ST 19132

5 violations, 1 serious.

Food safety person not present; cardboard lining shelves in retail area; remove unused equipment to eliminate potential insect harborage conditions. Inspected June 30.

Antojitos Y Algo Mas Restaurant

3212 N FRONT ST 19140

21 violations, 8 serious.

Food safety person not present; employee put on gloves without washing hands; no paper towels at handwash sinks; kitchen handwash sink inaccessible; no chemical solution sanitizer; flies throughout facility. Inspected June 30.

Dookie's 1 $ Variety

1633 W OXFORD ST 19121

5 violations; 1 serious.

Food safety person not present; pet cat. Inspected June 30.

Barone How Ya Doin' Deli

1515 PORTER ST 19145

5 violations, 1 serious.

Food safety person not present; chemicals stored on shelf with food. Inspected June 30.

Abner's

3813 CHESTNUT ST 19104

10 violations, 4 serious.

Old food residue, dishes and utensils in handwash sink; uncovered food in freezer; live roaches on food contact surfaces and sink, dead roaches in mixing bowl, mouse droppings in storage area, flies throughout. Cease operations order issued June 29. Cleared to reopen July 1.

Max's Produce

255 S 20TH ST 19103

17 violations, 8 serious.

Person in charge did not demonstrate adequate knowledge of Pa. food code; food safety certified person not present; no towels or airdryer in toilet area; potentially hazardous foods not date marked; preparing and packaging juice without means of reducing pathogens; insufficient hot water; lack of backflow prevention device. Inspected June 29.

El Coqui Grocery

2901 N HOWARD ST 19133

21 violations, 7 serious.

Food safety person not present; empty paper towel dispenser; expired baby food on sale, price tags covered expiration dates; accumulation of food residue on slicer; fried chicken held at hazardous temperatures for 24 hours; deli meats held at hazardous temperature; water leaking from refrigeration unit; mouse droppings in retail and food prep area; steamtable and handwash sink installed without health department approval. 24 hour closure order issued June 29.

American Grocery

244 W GRANGE AVE 19120

14 violations, 5 serious.

Food safety person not present; no health awareness reporting procedure for employees; insufficient hot water; black residue on cutting board; no probe thermometer to measure internal food temperatures; employees not wearing hair restraints; mouse droppings and black residue in basement; accumulated dust on retail shelves. Inspected June 28.

Ms. Esther's Breakfast

6053 OGONTZ AVE 19138

15 violations, 2 serious.

Roach crawling on slicer, equipment needs to be sanitized; eggs, turkey bacon, cream and discolored hot dogs held at hazardous temperatures; dead roach fragments on floor at counter area; excess clutter in shared basement; excess water and debris on floor surrounding basement grease trap; no ventilation in restroom. Previously asked to discontinue operations June 22. Issued cease operations order on June 27. Reopened June 29.

Shotz Bar

7417 BUIST AVE 19153

21 violations, 7 serious.

Person in charge not present; no health awareness reporting procedure; no hot water at handsinks; soap and paper towels not available at sinks in toilet or kitchen; black residue and pink slime inside ice machine; food in non-functioning cooler with mouse feces; food held at hazardous temperatures; shelving in kitchen and bar covered in mouse feces. Inspected June 27.

Aladdin Pizza & Eatery

4746 SPRUCE ST 19139

26 violations, 12 serious.

Severe mouse infestation; flies and ants; person in charge did not know Pa. food code; employees put on gloves without prior hand wash; moldy container of onions; chicken wings, ice cream, chicken, hamburger stored uncovered in refrigerator; accumulated food residue on slicer; waffle maker, toaster and milkshake blender soiled with food debris; food held at hazardous temperatures; thermometers not available; rear door open; leaking refrigeration unit; insufficient refrigeration. Previously ordered to cease operations Mar. 21, 2013 and Dec. 30, 2014 Inspected June 27. Reopened June 29.

G & N Grocery

1438 S 23RD ST 19146

14 violations; 8 serious.

Live roaches in kitchen; fresh mouse droppings in basement and storage areas; person in charge did not know Pa. food code; employee drinking from cup without a lid in kitchen; kitchen handwash knik blocked by carton; no sign in restroom reminding employees to wash hands; food held at hazardous temperatures. Inspected June 27.

Grape Leaves Diner

2927 KENSINGTON AVE 19134

11 violations, 2 serious.

Food safety person not present; "very large amount of mice droppings" in kitchen prep area; no paper towel dispenser at handwash sink; frost and ice buildup inside domestic freezer in kitchen. Inspected June 27.

samwood@phillynews.com

215-854-2796 @samwoodiii