Crawling cockroaches and feces-filled litter boxes close Philly eateries

Twenty-one restaurants and markets were closed temporarily by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health between July 16 and Aug. 4 for “unacceptable” conditions or “imminent health hazards.”

From the feces-filled litter box, cat food, and bowl of water that were found in the basement of one market to the German cockroaches discovered crawling on wooden panels in the hallway of a Center City restaurant, the Health Department inspectors were on the lookout for violations.

The inspectors visit nearly 1,000 eateries and food retailers every two weeks. Every inspection is generally regarded as a snapshot in time, and not necessarily a reflection of day-to-day conditions.  Most violations were corrected immediately in the presence of an inspector.

A list of eateries that were closed, or are facing court dates, follows

Ecowas African Restaurant
6421 WOODLAND AVE. 19142
16 violations, 7 serious
A blender was used in the basement where there was no available hand sink; several dirty dishes and roaches were found in the hand-washing sink; a barbecue grill was found in use outside near a trash Dumpster with flies in the area; food was stored in the refrigerator without a lid or tight-fitting cover, and raw meats were stored over other food items in the refrigerator; two bottles of Blackjack insecticide, meant for professional use, were found in the restaurant.
On Aug. 3, the restaurant was issued a cease operations order and must discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours.

Sweet Treat Hut
1240 N. 50TH ST. 19131
10 violations, 1 serious
There was visible physical evidence of insect activity — including fruit flies — in the food-prep and ware-washing area; the hand-wash sinks in the toilet room and in the prep area do not have single-use towels, continuous towels, or air-drying device or soap. On Aug. 2, the establishment was closed until it is approved by the department to resume operations.

Rita’s Italian Ice
2271 W. HUNTING PARK AVE. 19140
5 violations, 2 serious
A food-safety certified person was not present during the inspection; an employee was observed eating or tasting food in the food-prep (pretzel) area; utensils observed in direct contact with food and did not have the handle stored above the top of the food; a domestic non-NSF-approved microwave found in the food-prep and ware-washing area; the restroom does not have a covered receptacle for women’s sanitary products.
On July 31, the establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily closed until it is approved by the department to resume operations.

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Upland Mini Mart, 2024 S. 68th St.

Upland Mini Market
2024 S. 68TH ST. 19142
21 violations, 5 serious
There was  visible physical evidence of flies;  insecticides, including Raid and Blackjack, that were not labeled by the manufacturer for food facility usage were found in the sink area; potentially hazardous ready-to-eat food prepared in the food facility and held for more than 48 hours was located in the deli cooler; employees observed not wearing or wearing ineffective hair restraints, such as nets, hats, or beard restraints; cooler fans, shelves, floors, had a build-up of dust; pooled water was found in the bottom of prep cooler. The market was ordered to close on July 31 for a minimum of 48 hours.

Kailey Mini Market
2001 W. SPENCER ST. 19138
9 violations, 3 serious
There was a feces-filled litter box, cat food, and bowl of water in the basement; flies were found in the back prep area; there was no designated hand sink in front area where water ice is being scooped; large slicer attachments were unable to fit into three-compartment sink to be properly washed; there was commercially processed ready-to-eat food located in the display and sandwich prep unit that were not marked with the date it was opened; food contact surfaces were unable to be washed, rinsed, and sanitized.
On July 31, the establishment agreed to stop food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the department to resume operations.

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Lucky Restaurant, 271 S. 60th St.

Lucky Restaurant
271 S. 60TH ST. 19139
18 violations, 9 serious
There were loose packets of mouse bait on the floors and mouse feces were seen along wall perimeters and under the wok; the back door was open without a screen to keep pests from flying into kitchen; the deep fryer has an accumulation of grease and food debris all over it, and exterior surfaces of all refrigerators have an accumulation of grease; a food-safety certified person was not present as required;  employees were not washing hands; too much clutter present.
On July 28, the establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the department to resume operations.

Rhawnhurst Cafe
8002 CASTOR AVE. 19152
11 violations, 3 serious
There were moldy surfaces inside the ice machine; flies were found behind the bar and inside the kitchen; dust had accumulated on fan guards inside the walk-in unit; flooring inside the walk-in unit was in need of cleaning; the floor behind bar area needed to be repaired.
On July 26, the restaurant agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the department to resume operations.

No 1 Water Ice
329 S. 52ND ST. 19143
On July 27, the person in charge of the establishment refused inspection. As a result, the establishment has been issued a cease operations order and must discontinue food operations immediately.

Birta, Emanuil/Lunch Cart/V05066
1 N. 18TH ST. 19103
3 Violations, 3 serious
A food-safety certified person was not available for the inspection; the temperature of the hot water, 85 degrees, was not adequate to properly wash hands; lamb, chicken, tomatoes, and cucumbers were held at 60 degrees rather than 41 degrees or below as required.
On July 26, the establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the department to resume operations.

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Jim’s Steaks, 2311 Cottman Ave.

Jim’s Steaks
2311 COTTMAN AVE. 19149
20 violations, 9 serious
Accumulated ice and mold were found in the openings and interior surfaces of the ice cream freezer;  an open rodenticide packet was found in the front closet; old mouse feces were observed in the front utility closet; the floor drains in the rear and front food-prep area were overflowing and backed up with liquid waste and grease; encrusted food residue was found on food-contact surfaces of the slicers.
On July 26, the establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the department to resume operations.

Checkers Drive-In Restaurant #6371
2729 W HUNTING PARK AVE. 19129
17 violations, 9 serious
Slushy ingredients, dessert toppings, and burgers were stored uncovered in freezer and by the dessert station; the interior surfaces of microwave were heavily soiled with food residue; food debris was found on shelving under tables and cooking equipment; there was an accumulation of residue on the interior surfaces of the beverage nozzles; the exterior surfaces of cooking equipment and exhaust hood filters had an accumulation of grease.
On July 26, the establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the department to resume operations.

B.B.Q. Town
7711 OGONTZ AVE. 19150
10 violations, 4 serious
Pooled dark water with a foul odor was found on the floor in basement, under the utility sink, washer dryer, and in the deep freezer; stained ceiling tiles were found in toilet room; there was an accumulation of debris observed under cooking equipment and grease residue on the floors in between fryers; food debris and accumulation of old food residue was on the exterior surfaces of the warming pots and inside the refrigerators and display case; encrusted grease residue was found on the exterior and interior of oven range and hood filters.
On July 26, the establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the department to resume operations.

Hiro Ramen
1102 CHESTNUT ST. 19107
6 violations, 1 serious
There were live German cockroaches found in the seams and gaps of wooden shelving, in wire shelving in kitchen, in the door hinge of HVAC closet, in the glass rack in hallway and crawling on wooden panels on hallway; dead roaches were found on wooden shelving in the hall; mouse droppings were found in the HVAC closet.
On July 25, the establishment was issued a cease operations order and must discontinue food operations immediately.

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C&L Enterprises, 2769 N. 24th St.

2769 C & L Enterprises
2769 N. 24TH ST. 19132
14 violations, 3 serious
There were mouse droppings found in the food-prep area; the person in charge had an expired ServSafe certificate; commercially processed ready-to-eat cheese located in the deli display case was held more than 48 hours and not marked with the date it was opened; dirty floors were found in customer and food-prep areas.
On July 24, the establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it was approved by the department to resume operations.

Fine Shop Supermarket
5131 CHESTNUT ST. 19139
1 violation, 1 serious
A food-safety person was not present when inspectors arrived.
On July 21, the supermarket was issued a cease operations order and had to discontinue food operations immediately due to imminent health hazards found during the inspection.

Christian Street Pharmacy
1947 CHRISTIAN ST. 19146
On July 21, the person in charge of the pharmacy refused inspection. Due to the refusal, the establishment has been issued a cease operations order and must discontinue food operations immediately.

ODU Pharmacy
1618 W. OLNEY AVE. 19141
3 violations, none serious
The pharmacy never submitted a plan review application for food license approval. Proper plans, drawn to scale, showing all design features, including all food service equipment specifications and the location of toilet rooms, plumbing fixtures, storage areas, and utilities must be submitted to the Office of Food Protection; there was no backflow-prevention device observed on main water line in basement.
On July 21, the pharmacy was issued a cease operations order and had to discontinue food operations immediately because of imminent health hazards observed during this inspection.

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Ontario Mini Mart, 942 E. Ontario St.

Ontario Mini Market
942 E. ONTARIO ST. 19134
12 violations, 2 serious
Mouse droppings were found under the equipment in the prep area; small roaches found in the basement bathroom area; a fly tape located in the prep area could contaminate food, equipment, and other utensils; a leak was found in the basement area; the basement bathroom sink was not properly sealed to the wall.
On July 20, the mini-mart agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the department to resume operations.

Spread Bagelry
262 S. 20TH ST. 19103
13 violations, 4 serious
Flies were found on bagels in the front food-preparation area, in the kitchen, food storage areas, and customer eating area; mouse droppings observed on flour bags in the storage area, on food storage shelves, and on floor in the food storage area; outer openings in the food facility do not protect against the entry of insects, rodents, and other animals. The slicer had an accumulation of food residue on the food-contact surfaces. Black residue found on the interior of the ice machine bin; floors throughout the facility were not clean.
On July 19, the restaurant agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it was approved by the department to resume operations.

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Edmondson’s Lounge, 6004 Market St.

Edmondson’s Lounge
6004 MARKET ST. 19139
9 violations, 5 serious
Mouse feces observed near shelving area of kitchen; hot water was not available at hand sinks or dish-washing sink; Raid and Ortho pesticide sprays limited to use by licensed exterminators were found; the inside of the refrigerator needed to be cleaned.
On July 17, the establishment agreed to discontinue food and beverage operations and voluntarily close until it was approved by the department to resume operations.

Eateries scheduled for hearing in the Court of Common Pleas on Aug 2:
Jecko’s bar, 2870 N. LAWRENCE ST. 19133.

Eateries scheduled for hearing in the Court of Common Pleas on Aug 3:
Upland Mini Market, 2024 S. 68TH ST. 19142; Milan Restaurant,140 W. WYOMING AVE. 19140; Smokin John’s Barbeque, 4258 MAIN ST. 19127; Read Ready Daycare & Early Learning, 5015 WAYNE AVE. 19144; Family Dollar Store #7350, 4701 W. GIRARD AVE. 19131; Los Tacos Food Market, 5104 N. 5TH ST. 19120; Olney Breakfast, 1343 W. OLNEY AVE. 19141; Los Vargas Mini Market, 4171 N. FAIRHILL ST. 19140; Jim’s Steaks, 2311 COTTMAN AVE. 19149; B.B.Q. Town, 7711 OGONTZ AVE. 19150.

If you suspect you have 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.