2 LeBron James-backed Blaze Pizzas ordered shut due to fly issues

By Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Wow! It was a very busy week for inspectors with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation last week.

According to records obtained by Local 10 News, nine places that serve you food were ordered shut last week.

Records show three rodents were found at the popular Betty's Soul Food restaurant off Sistruck in Fort Lauderdale. Rodent droppings were also found there.

Meanwhile, El Pub in Little Havana was ordered shut for the third time.

A state inspector found roach issues and an "objectionable odor" in the kitchen.

It was a strange coincidence, but two Blaze Pizzas were ordered shut last week. Both had fly issues.

Some BIG names are behind Blaze Pizza.

Journalist Maria Shriver and NBA superstar LeBron James were both initial investors.

James owns locations in South Florida and Chicago.

The owner of Bagels & Co. on Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami appears to have lied to customers as to why they were ordered shut last week.

A sign posted on the outside of the restaurant  said they were closed due to electrical issues. But, they were actually ordered shut for a roach issue.

A whopping 47 violations were found at Gold China Restaurant in Palmetto Bay. Inspectors were there based on a complaint.

Gold China had an insect issue and the kitchen appeared to need a good scrubbing.

Records show roach issues were also found at the Hilton Cabana and Aroma Expresso Bar in Miami Beach. 

Below is a list of places that were ordered shut and some of their violations. All the places mentioned were allowed to re-open following an ordered cleanup and re-inspection.

***Blaze Pizza

6334 N. Andrews Ave.

Fort Lauderdale

Ordered shut Aug. 9

Inspection based on complaint

6 violations found

"Live, small flying insects in kitchen, food preparation area, or food storage area. Observed approximately : 7 live flies in dough prep area, one landed on unopened bag of flours others were flying around area landing on walls and on side of Hobart mixer. 2 live flies in front-line pizza prep area flying around 4 live flies under 3 compartment sink flying around 3 live flies near storage area by back door."

"Roach activity present as evidenced by live roaches found. 1 live roach on dining room , crawled from wall to dining room table top."

"Dead roaches on premises. 1 dead roach on ground by pizza oven 1 dead roach on ground by manager's office 1 dead roach on wall under 3 compartment sink."

"Employee touched soiled surface and then engaged in food preparation, handled clean equipment or utensils, or touched unwrapped single-service items without washing hands. Employee went from cleaning and sweeping to prepping pizza without washing hands before putting on gloves. Employee changed gloves and washed hands."

"Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Artichokes 56-58F, cut tomatoes 54-58F, cooked onions 54F meatballs 50-57F, sausage 50-62F, chicken 47-51F, blue cheese 58F, cheese 52F, pizza sauce 52F, and shredded cheese 51F at pizza prep cooler next to hand wash sink. Ambient temperature of cooler 50-51F. Foods pulled from walk-in cooler approximately 3 hours ago. Foods moved to freezer to quick chill. Artichoke 53F and cooked onions 54F at prep cooler closest to register in front counter area. Food moved to freezer to quick chill."

***Blaze Pizza

2135 S. University Drive

Davie

Ordered shut Aug. 6

6 violations found

"Live, small flying insects in kitchen, food preparation area, or food storage area. Observed approximately 8 live flies nesting on walls near managers office and mop sink. 1 Live fly nesting on chemical storage shelf. Approximately 8 live flies nesting on walls over prep table and next to mixer. 4 live flies nesting on menu board at front counter. 2 live flies on wall next to surveillance camera. Observed 1 fly landing on prep table by mixer and 1 fly landing on flip top cooler cutting board at front counter. Operator tried to kill."

"Stop Sale issued on potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food due to temperature abuse. Observed spicy marinara sauce 50-62F - overnight Cooling from 8/5/18. Spicy marinara was cooling in a deep covered plastic container in walk in cooler."

"Food-contact surfaces not sanitized after cleaning, before use. Do not use equipment/utensils not properly sanitized. Observed employee rinsed utensils with doing the wash and sanitizing step. Employee was educated on proper ware washing procedures."

"Employee washed hands with cold water at hand sink Observed employee turn on cold water faucet."

***Betty's Restaurant & BBQ

601 NW 22nd Road

Fort Lauderdale

Inspection based on complaint

Ordered shut Aug. 18

9 violations found

"Dead rodent present. 3 dead mice found on glue trap under pallet in dry storage area, 2 dead mice found on glue trap in Walk In Cooler."

"Rodent activity present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. Approximately 30 fresh droppings on top of dish washer."

"Dead roaches on premises. 2 found on top of plastic container in dry storage."

"Interior of microwave soiled with encrusted food debris."

***El Pub

1548 SW Eighth St.

Little Havana

Inspection based on complaint

Ordered shut Aug. 7

26 violations found

Also ordered shut July 26, 2017

Also ordered shut Oct. 19, 2016

"Roach activity present as evidenced by live roaches found. Observed in the kitchen on prep table by two compartment sink approximately 5 live roaches, at shelves for clean cups observed approximately 5 live roaches, on kitchen floor 2 live roaches. Approximately two live roaches found crawling by clean utensils tray at dishwashing area."

"Objectionable odor in establishment. In the kitchen."

"Interior of oven has heavy accumulation of black substance/grease/food debris."

"Accumulation of debris on exterior of ware washing machine."

"Build-up of grease/dust/debris on hood filters. Observed filters at sandwich station with heavy accumulation of grease."

"In-use ice scoop stored on soiled surface between uses."

"Slicer blade soiled with old food debris."

***Gold China Restaurant

15055 S. Dixie Highway

Palmetto Bay

Inspection based on complaint

Ordered shut Aug. 9

47 violations found

"Roach activity present as evidenced by live roaches found. One live roach crawling on the wall in the kitchen by cook line. Approximately Two roaches live inside meter room. One live roach in the cabinet by storage area. One live roach crawling on the wall in the kitchen by prep area."

"Presence of insects, rodents, or other pests. Observed approximately 100 ants in a nest over sugar by storage area."

"Dead roaches on premises. Approximately 5 dead roaches by dishwashing area. One dead roach inside a box used to storage paper towels."

"Accumulation of debris inside ware washing machine."

"Accumulation of food debris/soil residue on hand wash sink."

"Slicer blade guard soiled with old food debris."

"Slicer blade soiled with old food debris."

"Employee touched bare body part and then engaged in food preparation, handled clean equipment or utensils, or touched unwrapped single-service items without washing hands. Employee at cook line touched his face."

***Bagels & Co.

11064 Biscayne Blvd.

Miami

Ordered shut Aug. 6

16 violations found

"Roach activity present as evidenced by live roaches found. Observed approximately 10 live roaches crawling on the wall behind preparation table, 3 live roaches under mixer equipment in the bagel preparation area."

"Dead roaches on premises. Observed 1 dead roach in a shelf under prep table used to stored wrapped plastic containers. Also observed 1 dead roach in dry storage, 4 dead roaches under prep table near walking cooler."

"Accumulation of debris on exterior of ware washing machine. Observed accumulation of debris on exterior of dish machine."

"Pulled eggs held at room temperature with an ambient air temperature greater than 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Observed pulled eggs at 60°f above prep table in the kitchen for around 1 hr according operator. Operator placed ice bag underneath it."

***Aroma Expresso Bar

540 Collins Ave.

Miami Beach

Ordered shut Aug. 10

24 violations found

"Roach activity present as evidenced by live roaches found. Observed approximately one live roach in ice machine in front service area. And observed approximately 4 live roaches in kitchen area on prep table next to ice cream machine where soup is located."

"Manager lacking proof of food manager certification."

"Proof of required state approved employee training not available for some employees."

"Employee eating in a food preparation or other restricted area. Observed employee eating in food preparation area."

"Interior of microwave oven soiled with encrusted food debris."

***Simon Lumiere Restaurant

12750 W. Dixie Highway

North Miami

Inspection based on complaint

Ordered shut Aug. 7

14 violations found

Also ordered shut June 14

"Rodent activity present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. Observed approximately 40 hard dry rodent droppings underneath 3 compartment sink located in the front area by the entrance , next to a front counter (empty cabinet) that is not in used."

"Interior of oven has heavy accumulation of black substance/grease/food debris. Observed some accumulation of food debris inside 2 oven which are not in use. Oven are located behind front counter in front of the steam. **Repeat Violation*."

"Chemical test kit not used to ensure proper sanitization of equipment and utensils when using a chemical sanitizer. As evidence of new sealed test kit."

"Interior of reach-in freezer soiled with accumulation of food residue."

***Hilton Cabana Miami Beach L'echon

6261 Collins Ave.

Miami Beach

Ordered shut Aug. 9

5 violations found

"Roach activity present as evidenced by live roaches found. Observed 2 live roaches under dishwasher machine."

"Buildup of soiled material on racks in the reach-in cooler."
 

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