Two McDonald's restaurants and a Chinese restaurant that has often run afoul of health inspectors were among a dozen eateries temporarily shut down in the last week after failing surprise inspections.
A North Philadelphia outpost of the burger chain was asked to close on Sept. 15 after an inspector discovered a broken sewage pipe pouring waste water into the restaurant's basement. Though management closed the dining room, the drive-in window remained open. With the plumbing busted, employees could not wash their hands. Befouled water wasn't all the inspector found. Mouse droppings peppered several areas of the restaurant at 21st Street and W. Lehigh Avenue.
"I agreed that the best thing to do was to close the restaurant while we underwent repairs, to ensure that this issue was properly addressed before the restaurant re-opened," said franchise owner Luis Marquez. "I have a strong commitment to providing a clean, safe and enjoyable restaurant experience for our customers."
In Southwest Philadelphia, a McDonald's across from the Penrose Shopping Center was ordered to stop serving food on Sept. 19 for 48 hours. An inspector cited "evidence of rodent or insect activity" in the official report but did not elaborate. He also noted slime in the shake maker tubing at the franchise, at Island Avenue and Lindbergh Boulevard, among other infractions.
"We quickly worked to correct these issues and our restaurant has re-opened for business," said owner and operator Rupi Singh. "I take the feedback shared in the inspection report very seriously."
Chun Hing, the Szechuan restaurant near the Belmont Reservoir, was shut for the fourth time this month. An inspector on Sept. 14 found an onslaught of mice that remained unvanquished and a staff that lacked basic knowledge of foodborne illnesses. Closed for a total of 11 days, the Monument Road mainstay was allowed to reopen on Sept. 18.
The eateries listed below were inspected between Sept. 13 and 20. Each inspection is generally regarded as a "snapshot in time," and not necessarily a reflection of day-to-day conditions at the business. Most violations were addressed on site.
Included with each listing is an edited selection of infractions noted by health department sanitarians. Click on the restaurant's name or date of inspection 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.
1551 WASHINGTON AVE 19146
6 violations, 3 serious.
No person in charge present; food employee dropped ice scoop on floor, picked it up, and put it back in ice bin; no thermometer in refrigerator; floor of walk-in freezer needs cleaning. Ordered to fix violations and close for 24 hours on Sept. 19.
7620 LINDBERGH BLVD 19153
6 violations, 3 serious.
Evidence of rodent or insect activity in office, ware washing area, behind coffee maker area and near rear exit door; flies in food prep area; general floor cleaning need throughout; cheese not wrapped to prevent contamination; slime in shake maker tubing; stored foods were not date marked. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on Sept. 19.
7 Eleven Store
4701 N MASCHER AVE 19120
12 violations, 2 serious.
No food safety certified person on premises; pooled water on floors in restroom; floors need to be cleaned; no sanitizer test strips; no sign reminding employees to wash hands; empty paper towel dispenser. Asked to discontinue operations and voluntarily close on Sept. 16.
Marianny Food Market
1900 CHURCH ST 19124
17 violations, 3 serious.
Dozens of live roaches in basement and behind prep area freezers; excessive numbers of flies in rear storage area; cat in basement; no paper towels at food prep hand wash sink; no thermometers in refrigeration units in retail area; cardboard used to line shelves. Ordered to cease operations for 48 hours on Sept. 16. Permitted to reopen Sept. 18.
2101 W LEHIGH AVE 19132
13 violations, 2 serious.
Sewage pipe break; hand wash sinks not being by employees due to failed plumbing; foods held at hazardous temperatures; mouse droppings and flies in storage, food prep and dining areas; mouse droppings in cabinets in front food prep area and in basement storage area; flies throughout; waste water pouring out of waste pipe in basement; toilets not being used due to plumbing problem; clean and sanitize floors contaminated by mouse droppings and sewage water. Asked to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close on Sept. 15.
Boys Latin of Phila. Charter School
5501 CEDAR AVE 19143
12 violations, 5 serious.
Mouse infestation in kitchen; mouse feces on floor under prep table, shelving and food containers; food safety certified person not on premises; no functioning hand wash sink, employees must wash hands before any and all food handling; soap not provided in boys' restroom; severely dented can of soup in kitchen; dumpsters overflowing and can not be closed. Ordered to cease operations for a minimum of 48 hours on Sept. 14. Cleared to reopen Sept. 16.
4160 MONUMENT RD 19131
18 violations, 4 serious.
Fresh mouse feces on shelf in front dining area; food safety certified person could not demonstrate knowledge of food-borne illnesses; food not protected from contamination; dishes and food equipment stored in rear outdoor trash area; utensils improperly cleaned and sanitized; back door does not protect against the entry of insects, rodents and other animals; encrusted food debris in reach-in freezer; heavy grease accumulation under exhaust hood. Previously found to be operating without a food license in Aug. 2010, Mar. 2013, May 2013, and Sept. 2014. History of being ordered to cease operations: closed Mar. 27, 2015; Feb. 16, 2016; May 12, 2016; and Sept. 7, Sept. 9, Sept. 11. Ordered to cease operations for a minimum of 48 hours on Sept. 14. Cleared to reopen Sept. 18.
Evergreen Liu Restaurant
4726 SPRUCE ST 19139
38 violations, 13 serious.
No hot water; no person in charge present; improper hand washing, soap and hot water not used; raw animal foods stored above ready to eat items; uncovered food items observed throughout restaurant; mouse feces on food containers; chicken and egg rolls held at hazardous temperatures; chicken thawing at room temperature in sink; flies throughout; mouse feces along floor perimeters and on freezers; dead mouse in trap; toilet room needs to be cleaned; cleaning needed throughout. Agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close on Sept. 14 until approved to reopen.
Edgar Mini Market
2970 N ROSEHILL ST 19134
16 violations, 5 serious.
Food safety certified expired July 1, 2012; mouse droppings in front and rear areas; food flies in rear area; no hand wash sink in prep area; food held at hazardous temperatures. Ordered to cease operations for a minimum of 48 hours on Sept. 12.