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Multiple restaurants open back up after pest problems

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There's good news and bad news in this week's Restaurant Report. 

Several restaurants were able to open back up after problems with pests, including roaches and rats. 

Blu Diner on Norwood Avenue was temporarily shut down the afternoon of Nov. 21 because an inspector found five dead rats in traps by the kitchen. News4Jax spoke over the phone with the manager, who said that someone was trying to sabotage her restaurant by planting the rats in the kitchen and then calling the inspector.

According to the report, rodent droppings were also found in the storage room. 

It was Blu Diner's first closure. The diner had not had problems with rodents or pests since 2014. Blu Diner was given the green light to open the next morning

Yafa Grill on St. Johns Bluff Road may have failed an inspection last week, but the good news is that staff cleaned up and the restaurant passed a followup inspection with flying colors. During the initial inspection, an inspector found three dead roaches inside a trap above the soda rack, and spotted about 15 ants crawling on top of soda boxes near the cooler. An employee also threw out seasoning after insects were found inside.

Roma's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria near Old St. Augustine Road and Philips Highway is learning from their mistakes. The restaurant failed its inspection after live flies were found in the kitchen. The report also shows tomatoes had some slimy white buildup on them, and were thrown out. An inspector said items -- such as cheese, calamari and meatballs -- were at the wrong temperature, and a repairman was called out to fix the cooler. The restaurant stayed open and passed with zero violations when the inspector came back the next day.

Golden China on Normandy Boulevard was closed for several hours with four high-priority violations after an inspector found live roaches in the kitchen

The Chinese restaurant is back open after the owner got a new pest control company.

When News4Jax visited the restaurant near the Publix shopping center on Normandy Boulevard, Mei-Chen was hard at work, cleaning the restaurant and wiping the counters, before Golden China opened and the lunch crowd arrived. 

"We always clean, everybody knows. Whenever my customers are here, they know," Mei-Chen said.

But when the inspector recently found live roaches hidden in hard-to-reach corners, it was a disappointing surprise to her.

"That's why sometimes I feel sad," Mei-Chen said. 

The inspector found 10 live roaches in a corner underneath a table in the kitchen.

Mei-Chen said she won't neglect cleaning that area any more. 

"We moved everything out, everything in the corners, and used the water to spray everywhere," Mei-Chen said. 

Mei-Chen moved everything in the kitchen to clean. She also hired a different pest control company because she wasn't satisfied with the one she had.

"I totally canceled them, I needed to switch," Mei-Chen said. "Actually, we switched before, too."

After a followup inspection, Golden China reopened the next day with zero high-priority violations.

That last switch was made last year after the restaurant's first citation for one lone roach crawling around in the kitchen. This was its first and only closure since opening. The restaurant is hoping to have better luck with a different pest control company.