Tarks of Dania Beach ordered shut after employee films dead rat inside restaurant

Former employee says she's been asking owner to take care of rodent issues

By Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter

DANIA BEACH, Fla. - A former employee of Tarks of Dania Beach wants everyone to know what she claims has been going on in the kitchen.

Maria Guzman posted a video of a dead rodent on social media.

In the video, Guzman said she's been asking Tarks owner Ted Itzoe to take care of rodent issues in the restaurant.

According to state records, an inspector showed up at Tarks on Monday and ordered the place shut after finding a dead rodent and rodent droppings.

Tarks has been a fixture on Federal Highway in Dania Beach since 1966.

The small restaurant is known for its oysters, clams and wings. 

An employee at Tarks told Local 10 investigator Jeff Weinsier that there was no manager on duty Tuesday morning and said, "We are open for business today."

Tarks was allowed to re-open on Tuesday following an ordered cleanup and re-inspection.

Itzoe released a statement to Local 10 News the next day, saying, "This video was posted on social media by a disgruntled former employee of the restaurant who was terminated for poor workmanship several weeks before she posted the video and it was reported to Channel 10. The issues regarding this employee are being handled internally. However, the restaurant maintains that it always has and does take the health and safety of its customers very seriously and will continue to do so."

Itzoe asked for privacy while the restaurant "handles the matter internally."  

Click here to read Guzman's full post.







"Dead rodent present. 1 dead rat under soda boxes in back room."

"Accumulation of dead rodents, in control devices. Dead rat in trap next to linen basket next to office. Cleaned up."

"Dead roaches on premises. 1 dead dried roach next to walk-in cooler. 1 dead, dried roach in sticky trap. Cleaned up."

"75-100 Dead Small flying insects in light fixture above ice machine in kitchen."

"Food stored in undrained ice. Shrimp at front counter in prep sink."

"All potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) foods in reach-in cooler cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Shrimp 56°, 57° conch fritter mix, conch salad 56° in silver cooler in prep area; 2) fresh garlic 82° on counter.. stop sale **Repeat Violation**."

"Reduced oxygen packaged fish packaged onsite no longer frozen and not removed from reduced oxygen package. Front counter, grouper."

"Manager lacking proof of food manager certification. **Repeat Violation**."

"No proof of required state approved employee training provided for any employees. **Repeat Violation**."

"Soda gun soiled. Front counter."


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