More than 300 rodent droppings found in area restaurants

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A lot goes on behind the scenes when dining out. But is it all safe and healthy?

News4Jax searched through inspection reports from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation to find out.

Last week, health hazards were found in four restaurants with emergency closures.

In Gainesville, Grand Cafe on University Avenue briefly shut down last week. According to state regulators' records, roaches and rodent droppings were the main issue, with more than two dozen droppings on the kitchen floor under the front counter, the cooler and kitchen baseboard. The restaurant reopened the following day with a perfect score.

In Jacksonville Beach, health inspectors briefly shut down Ruby Beach Brewing on First Avenue. They said approximately 200 rodent droppings were in the kitchen and brewery. A repeat violation was issued for a buildup of mold inside the ice machine, inspectors said. After some cleaning, Ruby Beach was approved to reopen the next day.

In Sans Souci area of Jacksonville, Mi Tierra Latina reopened after a one-day closure. Last week, inspectors said they found roaches crawling on the cook line and kitchen walls. Records show a warning was given for salsa, raw chicken and cooked beef stored incorrectly. The restaurant passed its follow-up inspection the following day.

Moncrief Crab Shack on Moncrief Road also faced a brief closure. Inspectors said they found nearly 100 rodent droppings, a hole in the ceiling, mold in the ice machine and a sink lacking hot water. Two days later, the restaurant was back in compliance.

These routine inspections are required by the state to protect the health of customers.