Severe pest infestations close New Ocean City and several other Philly eateries

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New Ocean City in Chinatown was ordered to cease and desist operations three times in less than a week.

The city health department during the last week grounded several "frequent fliers," its term for eateries with a history of failing numerous health inspections.

Vermin -- rodents and roaches -- proved the undoing of many of the restaurants and grocery stores ordered by the city to close down for at least 48 hours.

An infestation of rodents temporarily closed a Primo Hoagies franchise in Port Richmond. Roach invasions shut down Bella T's Pizza in Mayfair, the Santana Deli in Feltonville, El Coqui bodega in Fairhill and Jin House in West Philadelphia.

But it was a frequent flier in Chinatown that may have set an unsavory new city record. New Ocean City, a dim sum mainstay on Ninth Street, was declared an imminent health hazard three times -- in less than a week.

The health department first pasted an orange-and-white "cease and desist" sign on the restaurant's front doors July 29. Among the violations that day: operating without a license, no employee with a city-issued food safety certificate, a foul smell, and numerous cockroaches -- dead and alive -- throughout the kitchen.

An inspector returned July 31 to find little had changed. New Ocean City still had neither a food license nor a safety certificate. The foul smell had dispersed, but the roaches remained. The city issued another order to remain shut for 48 hours.

On Wednesday, Aug. 3, another inspector dropped by, only to find live roaches skittering under a drain board, on the walls and inside a container of sugar, earning the restaurant another 48 hours without business. New Ocean City owner Paul Chen could not be reached for comment.

The restaurants, lunch carts, and other eateries listed below were asked to discontinue serving food following inspections conducted between July 20 and Aug. 3.

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. To look up a restaurant or read more in the Inquirer's Clean Plates series visit Philly.com/cleanplates, where you can click on the restaurants name to see a detailed report.

Primo Hoagies
2703 E CLEARFIELD ST 19134
8 violations, 2 serious.
Mouse infestation, "very large amount" of mouse droppings in storage and prep areas; flies throughout front area; dust and food debris under prep equipment; uncovered foods in freezer. Previously ordered to cease and desist for mouse infestation Aug. 12, 2014. Ordered to cease operations again for 48 hours on Aug. 3.

New York Gyro Lunch Cart/ 003089
6 S 33RD ST 19104
7 violations, 5 serious.
Person in charge not present; insufficient hot water; uncovered items on prep and grill surfaces; food held at hazardous temperatures; employee not wearing hair restraint. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on Aug. 3.

Subway
5675 N FRONT ST STE 320 19120
1 violation, 1 serious.
No food safety certified person on premises. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on Aug. 3.

Alaska King Crab House
4834 LANCASTER AVE 19131
22 violations, 10 serious.
Management lacks basic knowledge about food safety; improper hand washing procedures; sinks blocked by multiple food containers; empty paper towel dispenser; insufficient hot water; numerous house flies in kitchen; sink is filthy; black residue and pink slime inside ice machine; food held at hazardous temperatures; thermometers no calibrated; general cleaning needed throughout. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on Aug. 2.

Antojitos Y Algo Mas Restaurant
3212 N FRONT ST 19140
1 violation, 1 serious.
Food safety certified person not present. Previously asked to voluntarily close June 30. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on Aug. 2.

Bella T's Pizza
2900 LEVICK ST 19149
15 violations, 3 serious.
Food held at hazardous temperatures; uncovered food subject to contamination; accumulation of dark mouse feces in kitchen, prep area, men's room; mouse feces found on dough mixer and shelving; live roaches on pizza boxes and inside soap dispenser; live flies in back prep room; raw chicken not stored at lease 6 inches above floor in walk-in refrigerator; ice buildup in ice cream freezer; floors need cleaning. Previously ordered to cease and desist Aug. 5, 2015. Ordered to cease operation for 48 hours on Aug. 1.

Oakdale Grocery
1555 W OAKDALE ST 19132
8 violations, 3 serious.
Person in charge not present; food held at hazardous temperatures; inadequate refrigeration; cracked meat display case. Previously asked to voluntarily close July 7. Inspected Aug. 1.

People's Emergency Center
3902 SPRING GARDEN ST 19104
15 violations, 5 serious.
Severe mouse infestation; fresh mice feces on food contact surfaces, containers, dishes shelves and along floors; numerous house flies in kitchen prep area; chemicals stored with food; defective refrigeration unit; encrusted food debris under prep sink; old mice feces inside walk-in cooler. Management agreed to prepare foods at another facility. Inspected July 29.

New Ocean City Restaurant
234 N 9TH ST 19107
26 violations, 8 serious.
Operating without a food license; restaurant does not have health awareness reporting procedure for employees; food safety person had no knowledge of food borne illnesses that need to be reporter to Health; employee touching ready to eat food with bare hands; no paper towels at hand wash sinks; accumulated food residue on slicer; shrimp, ground meat and eggs held at hazardous temperatures; numerous dead and live roaches on floors, shelves of prep table, food preparation surfaces; dead mouse in basement; numerous flies in garbage storage area; damaged back door does not prevent entry of vermin; food employees not wearing hair restraints; food debris and mold in walk-in freezer; heavy grease accumulation in dim sum prep area; heavy grease and water accumulation in grease trap room with strong foul smell. Previously asked to voluntarily close on Mar. 9 for lacking a license and June 1 for having no food safety certified person on duty. Court hearing scheduled for Aug. 2. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on July 29 and again on July 31.

Santana Deli Grocery
5001 C ST 19120
9 violations, 2 serious.
Deli meat exposed to contaminated water; accumulated food residue on slicer; no thermometer in milk storage refrigerator; old mouse droppings on basement shelves; insufficient hot water. Previously ordered to discontinue food operations Feb. 23 and July 26. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on July 28.

El Coqui Grocery
2901 N HOWARD ST 19133
6 violations, 0 serious.
Broken thermometer in display case; live roaches in refrigerated display case; lights in kitchen not shielded from breakage. Ordered to cease operations Feb. 12, 2015. Asked to voluntarily close May 10 and June 29, 2016. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on July 18 and July 27.

Smiley's Cafe
110 COTTON ST 19127
21 violations, 5 serious.
No food safety certified person present; sink with square corners cannot be easily cleaned or sanitized; hummus, tomatoes, taziki and eggplant sauce held at hazardous temperatures; mouse droppings in cabinets, under utensil holder; under front counter, on kitchen pan, kitchen shelving and floor surfaces; fruit flies, gnats and house flies in prep area and kitchen; no sanitizer test strips; grease residue on kitchen walls; unapproved oven and table top fryers. Previously asked to discontinue food operations Apr. 5, 2016. Court appearance was scheduled for Aug. 2. Inspected July 27.

Still Saving Lives
2316 ORTHODOX ST 19137
10 violations, 4 serious.
Food safety certified person not present; no soap, towels or air drying devices at handwash sinks; no sanitizer; baby roaches and mouse droppings in front prep area; fly infestation in rear prep area; onions stored on floor; defective refrigeration unit. Ordered to cease food operations on July 27.

Urena Fresh Market Inc
2449 RIDGE AVE 19121
9 violations, 4 serious
Person in charge did not know Pa. food code; no health awareness reporting procedure for food employees; no documentation that foods were from an approved source; leak at three basin sink. Previously asked to discontinue food operations, June 20July 22 and July 25. Ordered to cease for 48 hours on July 27. Reopened July 29.

7 Eleven
1835 ARCH ST LOWR 19103
15 violations, 2 serious.
Handwash sinks blocked by old food an inaccessible for employee use; empty paper towel dispenser; insufficient sanitizing solution; black residue and pink slime on soada and latte machine nozzles and inside ince dispenser; gnats and flies in warewashing area; food and beverages not stored at least six inches above floor; no sanitizer test strips; insufficient hot water; general floor cleaning needed throughout. Inspected July 26.

Rittenhouse Pizza
132 S 20TH ST 19103
7 violations, 1 serious.
Ricotta and 42 pounds of shredded mozzarella held at hazardous temperatures; thermometers not functioning properly; insufficient refigeration. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on July 26.

Halal Guys Fried Chicken & Pizza II, Inc.
5940 OGONTZ AVE 19141
14 violations, 2 serious.
Chicken and bacon held at hazardous temperatures; insufficient temperature measuring devices; mouse feces under grill, on front cashier cabinets, on shelves and floor perimeters; house flies; employees not wearing hair restraints; grease, debris and mouse feces on equipment surfaces. Restaurant agreed to voluntarily close and will move to another location. Inspected July 26.

Santana Deli Grocery
5001 C ST 19120
17 violations, 5 serious.
Severe roach infestation, roaches crawling on food equipment surfaces; no handsoap or paper towels in toilet room; uncovered deli meats; food employees not wearing hair restraints; no sanitizer test strips; insufficient hot water. Previously ordered to cease and desist Feb. 23, 2016. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on July 26.

Xiomana Grocery
3050 FRANKFORD AVE 19134
11 violations, 4 serious.
No handwash sink in prep area; empty paper towel dispenser; insufficient hot water; expired goods for sale throughout store, infant food expired 9/2015; roaches and live cat in basement. Inspected July 25.

Urena Fresh Market Inc
2449 RIDGE AVE 19121
5 violations, 3 serious.
Accumulation of debris on meat slicer; milk, eggs, yogurt, hot dogs and cheese held at hazardous temperatures; insufficient refrigeration; debris on floors. Ordered to cease operations for 24 hours on July 25.

Speedway #06792
5110 CITY AVE 19131
11 violations, 5 serious.
Person in charge not present; no soap or towels at customer handwash sink; built up grime on soda machine dispensers; milk and eggs held at hazardous temperatures; chemicals stored with food; fresh mouse droppings on retail shelves; employees not wearing hair restraints; general cleaning needed throughout. Inspected July 25.

Jin House
508 S 52ND ST 19139
4 violations, 1 serious.
Live roaches; can of Raid in kitchen, only certified exterminators are allowed to spray pesticides in a food business. Previously ordered to cease and desist Feb. 1, 2012 and Dec. 5, 2013. Ordered again to cease operations for 48 hours on July 23. Reopened July 25.

Go Popcorn
112 S 12TH ST 19107
5 violations, 1 serious.
Rat droppings in box of almond chips in upstairs storage area; rat droppings ehind grease trap, inside popper machine; gnawed front column; bags of popcorn on floor beside front handwash station; popcorn and other food debris along floor perimeters. Inspected July 22.

Urena Fresh Market Inc
2449 RIDGE AVE 19121
13 violations, 6 serious.
Person in charge not did not know Pa. food code; facility does not have Health Awareness Reporting Procedure; uncovered ice cream in deep freezer, uncovered foods in meat display case; soiled meat slicer; food held at hazardous temperatures; water not under pressure. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on July 22.

Pancali Bakery
4653 RISING SUN AVE 19140
5 violations, 1 serious.
Food safety certified person not present; insufficient thermometers; no sanitizer strips. Inspected July 21.

Common Wealth Old City
319 MARKET ST 19106
16 violations, 5 serious.
Operating without a food licence; food safety certified person not present; employee handling cheese and bread with bare hands; black residue and pink slime inside ice machine bin; insufficient sanitizing solution; thermometers missing; fly in food prep area; deli case not operating; walk in freezer at 38 degrees; no sanitizer test strips. Inspected July 20.

L R Grocery & Deli
554 N 63RD ST 19151
1 violation, 1 serious.
Person in charge not present. Inspected July 20.

samwood@phillynews.com
215-854-2796
@samwoodiii