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Churches were clients of kids' catering company ordered shut

Accumulation of dead rodents found in kitchen

HIALEAH, Fla. – Darlene Murrell remained silent and hid from Local 10 News' Jeff Weinsier in the men's room of her and her husband's restaurant, The Kid Gourmet.

In their kitchen, they specialize in making meals for child care centers and schools. The motto on their website says, "Where tasty food exceeds nutritional standards."

"No (one) wants to say anything?" Weinsier asked. "You are feeding children. I don't understand why you do not wanna answer any questions. Don't you have a responsibility?"

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The kitchen at The Kid Gourmet was ordered shut last week after 15 violations were found. Among them was an accumulation of dead rodents -- two dead rodents in a trap under the hot-food holding area in the kitchen, one dead rodent in a trap under a shelf and a fourth one dead under some stairs. In addition, at least 60 rodent droppings were found throughout the kitchen area.

Rodent bait was not contained in a bait station, and the inspector found a rodent nest made of insulation and fabric.

The principal of Faith Lutheran in Hialeah had no idea the company providing food to her students had a rodent issue in its kitchen.

"Of course I'm concerned," she said. "This is the first I have seen this, so it is something we will check out."

The child care center at Riviera Presbyterian in Coral Gables also gets its meals from The Kid Gourmet. We were told the school's board is looking into the situation.

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A man who would only tell us his name is Jonathan spoke to us on behalf of The Kid Gourmet.

"Someone wasn't doing their job?" Weinsier asked.

"Absolutely, and that's why I came in," Jonathan said. "That's why I stepped in. This company was great at one point. We are changing our training, implementing new training. We are going to be better, and we are doing everything possible to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Next, Local 10 News moved to a southwest Miami-Dade business catering to kids. They prepare meals for schools in a warehouse just east of Miami Executive Airport.

When we showed up, the state's orange sticker was still up, and an Orkin truck was outside. The only person inside was the Orkin man, who ordered us out because he was spraying.

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There were 15 violations found at Catering to Kids. There were 40 roaches spotted in a sticky trap, several still alive and moving, and at least 50 were found on the floor in another trap. Live roaches were found under a sink, in an oven and behind a food prep table. Roach excrement was found on the wall next to a food warmer.

The owner admitted by phone he didn't do his due diligence and now has extermination every other week.

Catering companies like these are inspected, and as a parent, you should ask the school who provides the meals for your kids.

Ask to see an inspection report. And if you still have concerns, pack a lunch or go visit that kitchen.


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