State finds no rodent issues in Aventura Mall Cheesecake Factory after rat video goes viral

AVENTURA, Fla. – Those eating at the Cheesecake Factory inside the Aventura Mall got an unpleasant surprise Friday night when they looked up.

Norma Castro said she was eating around 8:30 p.m. when she noticed a rat hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the dining room.

Castro pulled out her camera and recorded a couple managers removing the rodent and taking it outside. She sent her video to Local 10 Investigator Jeff Weinsier.

Castro and others claim a rodent also made an appearance out of the same vent hours earlier.

“My husband and a few of his family members were dinning and they saw a rat in the ceiling, hanging around the vent. According to my husband, everyone in view of the rat, whether they were eating or not, ran out of the restaurant,” said T. Adams, who also sent Weinsier video of the incident.

According to state records, an inspector with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation was at the Aventura Mall location Monday and performed an inspection based on a complaint.

Records show the inspector found 13 violations, but no rodent issues.

“We take sanitation in our restaurants very seriously and are committed to providing a safe and clean dining experience to all of our guests,” a spokesperson for Cheesecake Factory said in a statement to Local 10. “The restaurant receives monthly service and inspection from our pest control vendor. Following the incident, we immediately contacted the vendor to inspect the restaurant and assist with any remediation efforts. The health department also inspected the restaurant, found no evidence of pest activity, and issued the restaurant a clean bill of health.”

While it is up to the tenant to keep their restaurant clean, is it up to the tenant to control what comes out of their A/C vent?

Local 10 News has also reached out to Aventura Mall Management for comment and is awaiting a response.


About the Author:

Jeff Weinsier joined Local 10 News in September 1994. He is currently an investigative reporter for Local 10. He is also responsible for the very popular Dirty Dining segments.