Latest Philly restaurant inspections net 10 serious health hazards

The Philadelphia Department of Health inspected nearly 500 restaurants, delis and other eateries between Nov. 9 and Nov. 21. During that period there were surprisingly few offenders that were temporarily shuttered. Only 10 were declared "imminent health hazards." 

Tarka, the Indo-Asian restaurant in University City, struggled with three failing inspections before it was allowed to reopen Nov. 16. A stubborn smattering of roaches and the repeated discovery of mouse droppings kept it closed for more than a week.

“We’ve changed a lot of stuff,” said Tarka’s manager Sultan Bhuiyan. “We have a new floor, new carpet , we hired new people and had a big cleaning. Everything is new. We are trying to change.” 

Chris' Pizza, in West Philadelphia, tallied the greatest number of itemized infractions. The Haverford Avenue pizzeria collected 32 violations but none was deemed serious enough for the health department to ask the restaurant to close. 

Each eatery inspection is generally regarded as a “snapshot in time,” and not necessarily a reflection of day-to-day conditions. Most violations were fixed immediately on site.

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

If you suspect you've contracted food poisoning or have a sanitation complaint, contact the health department at 215-685-7495.

To look up reports on a specific restaurant, or read more in the Inquirer’s Clean Plates series, visit Philly.com/cleanplates.

ReAnimator Cafe

1523 E SUSQUEHANNA AVE 19125

9 violations, 1 serious. 

Mouse droppings on floors and basement steps; no food safety certified person present at start of inspection. Asked to close temporarily on Nov. 21. 

Turner Grocery Store

2454 TURNER ST 19121

8 violations, 4 serious. 

No hot water; no soap at sink; chicken thawing in still water; mouse feces in food prep area and cat feces in basement. Asked to close temporarily on Nov. 21. 

Wharton Deli

1429 WHARTON ST 19146

Food safety certified person not present. Asked to close temporarily on Nov. 21. 

Xin Le Yuan Restaurant

2718 CECIL B. MOORE AVE 19121

17 violations, 5 serious. 

Food safety certified person not present; no paper towels at hand sink; person in charge did not know proper procedures to clean and disinfect food equipment and utensils; mold in ice cream scoop well; mouse feces in prep area; live flies. Asked to temporarily close Nov. 15. 

Da Way Family Kitchen 2/ V08113

 219 E LEHIGH AVE 19140

1 violation, 1 serious.

No hot water; no food safety certified employee present. Previously asked to close Jul. 18, 2016. Asked again to close temporarily on Nov. 15.

Rosario's

 1256 S 15TH ST 19146

1 violation, 1 serious.

No food safety certified person present. Asked to close temporarily on Nov. 15. Cleared to reopen Nov. 16. 

Tarka Resturant

 3801 CHESTNUT ST 19104

1 violation. 

Roaches in food prep room. Ordered to close for a minimum of 48 hours on Nov. 7, Nov. 10 and Nov. 14.  Permitted to reopen Nov. 16

P & B Breakfast

6003 N 5TH ST 19120

13 violations, 6 serious. 

Severe roach infestation; roaches on food contact surfaces, take out containers, in napkin box and inside box containing food; roach feces and eggs on shelves; food not protected from contamination; empty paper towel dispenser; no warm water. Ordered to close for minimum of 48 hours Nov. 14. Permitted to reopen Nov. 16.

Salad Works

2951 MARKET ST 19104

 7 violations, 2 serious. 

Roaches crawling on the counter, on food prep shelf, in dining area, and over cups stored in the front cabinet; roach feces on shelves and in cabinets in front prep and customer serving area; glue trap under counter "heavily infested" with roaches; general cleaning needed on counters, shelves, and in cabinets; clean and sanitize all equipment. Ordered to close for minimum of 48 hours Nov. 10.

Tarka Resturant

3801 CHESTNUT ST 19104

3 violations, 1 serious. 

No hot water at handwash sink; mouse droppings throughout establishment; drain flies; roaches in food prep area; floors need cleaning throughout. Ordered to close for a minimum of 48 hours on Nov. 7 and on Nov. 10.

 Hot Dog Cart / #V00807

4 S 15TH ST 19102
12 violations, 9 serious. 
Food safety certified person not present; person in charge didn't know Pa. Food Code; employee did not wash hands between changing tasks; employee touched food with bare hands; no soap, towels or cold water at sink; brownish water pours from spigot; interiors of cold holding units "very dirty with thick layers of what appears to be algae." Asked to close temporarily on Nov. 9. 

 Tarka Resturant
3801 CHESTNUT ST 19104
12 violations, 7 serious. 
Mouse droppings throughout kitchen and on food contact services; roaches on floor in food prep area; drain flies; food safety person not present; open employee beverage in food prep area; kitchen handwash sink blocked by coffee machine; moldy onions in storage room; food not covered inside refrigeration units; no chemical sanitizer used on equipment and utensils after washing; chicken held at temperatures known promote growth of hazardous bacteria;  all shelves need to be cleaned due to food debris. Ordered to close for minimum of 48 hours on Nov. 7.  and again on Nov. 10. 

Permitted to reopen: Tsigos, Wanda / Hot Dog Cart , 4 S. 15th St. 19102; Family Dollar Store #8623, 5716 Baltimore Ave. 19143; Cafe Square One, 50 S. 3rd St. 19106. 

Scheduled for Nov. 22  hearings in Court of Common Pleas, Room 446, City Hall: Alma Mater7165 Germantown Ave. 19119; Grow With Me Academy III2921 W. Clearfield St. 19132; Happy House700 W. Allegheny Ave. 19133; Lazo's Pizza and Grill873 N. 26th St. 19130; Bobby's Burger Palace3925 Walnut St. 19104; The Flower Cafe48 Maplewood Mall 19144;  P & B Breakfast, 6003 N. 5th St. 19120; Chestnut Grill & Sidewalk Cafe8229 Germantown Ave. 19118; Morning Glory Diner735 S 10th St. 19147; Doughboy Pizza1059 Van Kirk St. 19149; Full Moon Pizza4842 Old York Rd. 19141; Ruby Buffet1100 S Columbus Blvd. 19147; Medina Grocery6052 Ogontz Ave. 19141. 

 Contact Sam Wood at 215-854-2796, swood@philly.com or @samwoodiii

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