An Old City cafe, Family Dollar, South St. Primo's closed for vermin

Rodent feces, infestations and lack of certified employees temporarily shut down businesses.

If we awarded a gross-out prize based on a health inspection document, a Family Dollar Store in West Philadelphia would have claimed it this week. For the first time in the (short) history of Clean Plates,  we found "strong smell of rodent urine" recorded on an official report. The variety store, on the 5700 block of Baltimore Ave., also was cited on Nov. 4 for "substantial rodent feces" and gnawed packages of chocolate and cookies. Eeeew.   Neither the store or its corporate management could be reached for comment.

Other violations at eateries closed for a minimum of 48 hours paled in comparison. One of the repeat offenders, an Old City cafe, was ordered to shut down twice last week after a health inspector found rat and mouse droppings and live and dead roaches. Café Square One, on the first block of South 3rd St., was told to stop serving on Nov. 7 and again on Nov. 9. A cease-and-desist order remained on their front door on Thursday. 

Café Square One owner Daniel Anggriantano said the first inspection was fair, "but not the last one," he said. "We cleaned everything, but the second time they cited us for violations that we had already fixed.”

The Philadelphia Department of Health inspected more than 500 restaurants, delis and other eateries between Oct. 21 and Nov. 9. More than 30 were declared "imminent health hazards" or "not in satisfactory compliance" and temporarily shuttered.

Each 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 a detailed report.

If you suspect you've contracted food poisoning at a Philadelphia eatery 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.

Cafe Square One
50 S 3RD ST 19106
7 violations, 1 serious.
Rat droppings in basement; flies, mouse droppings and dead roaches in prep and kitchen; Neosporin with food items on kitchen shelf; floors, walls and shelves not clean. Ordered to close for minimum of 48 hours on Nov. 7 and again on Nov. 9

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 hand wash sink blocked by coffee machine; moldy onions in storage room; food not cover 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. 

Subway #7636
1701 BENJAMIN FRANKLIN PKWY 19103
2 violations.
No electrical power; toddler in kitchen; mattress on second floor dining area, person in charge said he was sleeping there because of Septa strike. Asked to close until power returned on Nov. 7, reinspection on Nov. 9 found restaurant "not in satisfactory compliance." 

Starbucks Coffee Company
3421 CHESTNUT ST 19104
3 violations, 1 serious.
No hot water; food employee did not follow proper hand washing procedure; food debris on shelves, general cleaning needed. Asked to temporarily close on Nov. 7. 

Cafe Square One
50 S 3RD ST 19106
17 violations, 3 serious.
Mouse droppings on sandwich prep unit and inside ice storage bin; flies on food contact surfaces in kitchen; ice not from an approved source; numerous flies in dining room and basement prep area; rat droppings in basement; live and dead roaches in kitchen area; non-commercial cooking equipment in kitchen; kitchen ice machine and refrigerator out of order; standing sewage in basement kitchen; "no smoking" signs not posted. Ordered to close for minimum of 48 hours on Nov. 7 and again on Nov. 9. 

Nile African Restaurant
6735 ELMWOOD AVE 19142
1 violation.
Person in charge not present. Asked to temporarily close Nov. 4.

Family Dollar Store #8623
5716 BALTIMORE AVE 19143
6 violations, 3 serious.
Mouse infestation: strong smell of rodent urine in retail area; several gnawed open bags of cat food, cat treats, dog food and dog treats; gnawed bags of cheese doodles, chips and popcorn; gnawed packages of Hershey's chocolate nuggests and sugar wafers; "substantial rodent feces" on floors; severely dented cans of soup, tomato sauce, okra and corn; live mice in rear storage area; house flies; store requires extensive cleaning. Ordered to close for minimum of 48 hours on Nov. 4.  (Photo: Google Maps)

Federal Distilling Tasting Room
161 CECIL B. MOORE AVE 19122
5 violations, 1 serious.
Certified food safety person not present. Asked to temporarily close on Nov. 3.  Approved to reopen on Nov. 4. 

 Sedici
1542 TASKER ST 19145
18 violations, 9 serious.
Fresh mouse droppings and flies in kitchen; certified food safety person not present; employees did not use soap or hot water to wash hands between tasks; empty paper towel dispenser; cell phone on cutting board. Ordered to temporary close on Nov. 3

Joe's Saloon
4500 N 05TH ST 19140
Certified food safety person not present. Agreed to temporarily close on Nov. 3. 

Golden China
6000 OXFORD AVE 19111
30 violations, 9 serious.
Employees not washing hands between changing tasks; soap and paper towels not available at sinks; leaking sink; numerous flies throughout, some insects in contact with uncovered food; accumulated rodent feces on shelves, food containers and prep surfaces; foods held at hazardous temperatures. Ordered to close for minimum of 48 hours on Nov. 3. 

Victor's Tavern
5550 WAYNE AVE 19144
9 violations, 2 serious.
Certified food safety person not present; white slime inside ice machine; front and rear doors were open and did not block entry of rodents;  no documentation for used cooking oil recycling. Asked to temporarily close on Nov. 1. 

Anthony's Cafe
7037 CASTOR AVE 19149
20 violations, 3 serious.
Large flies and fruit flies in prep area and storage room; accumulated rodent feces on storage room shelves; certified food safety person not present; no hot water; chemical sanitizers not being used on soiled utensils; insufficient number of thermometers; "extensive" cleaning needed throughout; multiple patrons seen smoking inside the store, used cigarette butts, ash trays and ashes seen on floors and tables throughout facility. Agreed to temporarily close on Nov. 1.

Grillo's Pizza
2138 E CHELTEN AVE 19138
1 violation.
Certified food safety person not present. Agreed to close temporarily on Nov. 1. 

Guerrilla Nutrition
990 SPRING GARDEN ST 19123
9 violations, 5 serious.
Certified food safety person not present; no signs at sinks to remind food employees to wash hands; unable to provide documentation that foods are from an approved source; milk held at hazardous temperature; preparing and packaging juice without taking precautions, juices removed; accumulated dirt in sink. Agreed to temporarily close Oct. 31. 

Cheltenham Food Market
1726 W CHELTENHAM AVE 19126
14 violations, 2 serious.
Several live and dead roaches in basement; dust, debris, and dead roaches on retail shelves;  two refrigeration units not working; open basement window does not prevent pests from entering; food safety person unable to provide identification. Previously asked to close on July 13. Agreed to temporarily close on Oct. 31.

Franklin D Roosevelt Golf Club
1954 PATTISON AVE 19145
3 violations, 2 serious.
Person in charge did not have required food manager certificate; black residue and pink slime inside ice machine; clean floors as needed. Agreed to close temporarily on Oct. 31. 

Q 901
4401 FRANKFORD AVE 19124
14 violations, 2 serious.
Rodent feces along floor perimeters, on food shelves, on utensils and equipment surfaces; house flies and fruitflies in bar area, restroom and food prep area; no soap at sink; extensive cleaning needed to remove accumulated debris, rodent feces, clutter and standing waste water. Ordered to close for 48 hours on Oct. 21.

Q 901
Reinspection: 5 violations.
Flies and fruit flies throughout establishment; pooled water on basement floor; unnecessary items and litter on premises. Previously ordered to shutdown for 48 hours on Oct. 18 and Oct. 21. Agreed to close temporarily on Oct. 31. 

Primo Hoagies
326 SOUTH ST 19147
9 violations, 3 serious.
Mouse droppings on shelves, floors, stairs, basement pipes, on kitchen prep table and in breadbox; flies in kitchen and basement; cigarettes stored on kitchen shelf; uncovered food in walk-in freezer; accumulated food debris on slicer; live and dead roaches in basement. Ordered to close for 48 hours on Oct. 26. Permitted to reopen Oct. 28. (Photo: Google Maps)

El Soto
1500 TASKER ST 19145
13 violations, 5 serious.
Food employee drinking from uncovered cup in kitchen; no sign in toilet room reminding employees to wash hands; no dedicated food prep sink; candies stored on same shelf as soaps and deodorants; employees not wearing hair restraints; main water line has no backflow prevention device; no mop sink. Ordered to close Oct. 26. 

Tae Kee Market
2548 KENSINGTON AVE 19125
8 violations, 3 serious.
Food safety person not present; no approved sanitizer on site; insufficient hot water; approved to sell prepackaged food only, has no license to sell prepared food. Agreed to temporarily close on Oct. 25.

B&K Market
720 ADAMS AVE 19124
26 violations, 11 serious.
Operating without a valid food license; cockroaches inside ice machine and on shelves in prep areas; flies in contact with food and food-contact surfaces; "
person in charge was operating an establishment under unsanitary conditions and did not demonstrate knowledge of food safety;" employees did not wash hands between tasks; water spilling onto food prep floor from large hole in pipe; no soap or papertowels at hand wash sinks; improper warewashing, no chemical sanitizer or soap used; insufficient hot water. Ordered to close for minimum of 48 hours on Oct. 25.

Aneudy Mini Market
2401 CECIL B. MOORE AVE 19121
16 violations, 5 serious.
Food safety certificate not present; no water or paper towels at sink; refrigerators holding food at hazardous temperatures. Agreed to temporarily close on Oct. 25. 

Germantown Gas (Take Out)
2445 GERMANTOWN AVE 19133
12 violations, 6 serious.
Mouse droppings on the floor behind cook station and perimeter of storage room; infestation of gnats in restroom; food safety certified person not present; person in charge didn't know reportable food borne illnesses; unapproved rice cooker. Agreed to temporarily close on Oct. 25. 

Elmwood Mini Market
7110 ELMWOOD AVE 19142
10 violations, 5 serious.
Unauthorized child in kitchen; "large amounts" of drain flies; moldy onions on shelf; sink blocked by equipment; accumulated food residue on slicer. Ordered to close for a minimum of 48 hours on Oct. 25. 

Permitted to reopen: Dominicana Grocery, 625 W. Clearfield St. ; Lincoln Fried Chicken, 801 E. Chelten Ave.

Scheduled for Nov. 10  hearings in Court of Common Pleas, Room 446, City Hall: Kelliann's, 1549 Spring Garden St.

Scheduled for Nov. 8  hearings in Court of Common Pleas, Room 446, City Hall: Joy Tsin Lau, 1026 Race St.; McDonalds, 1575 N. 52d St.; Torresdale Pizza, 7517 Torresdale Ave.; Kabuki Sushi, 45 N 13th St.; Mastery Charter School, Gratz Campus, 1798 W. Hunting Park Ave.; New Hong Kong Bakery, 917 Race St.; Sam's Grocery, 4847 A St.

Wyndale Grocery (Jaquez de Los Angelos Inc.) 5648 Wyndale Ave. , Mandarin House3 W Girard Ave.; Royal Palace Learning Center4839 Rising Sun Ave.; 900 W Somerset St.; Hua Yuan Restaurant274 S 20th St. 

Five Star Restaurant6667 Germantown Ave.; Wayne Food Market, 4352 Wayne Ave.; and Nora's Taqueria & Mexican Grill248 South St. 

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