Rodents and roaches: Mexican grill in Palatka temporarily shutdown by health inspectors

Health inspectors shut down three restaurants this week. Emily Boyer has the details.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Department of Business and Professional Regulation emergency shutdown list shows one restaurant is back open and two are still closed in District 5 after failing inspections in the first week of February.

Mariachiles Mexican Grill in Palatka

The Mariachiles Mexican Grill in Palatka was shut down February 1 after the inspector recorded 18 violations during a routine inspection.

The violations included the discovery of 60-70 rodent droppings and 2 dead rodents in the bar area, 13 live roaches and 13 dead roaches, and time and temperature abuse of food products.

The restaurant remained closed even after the inspector returned twice because more live roaches were found each time. When the inspector returned February 3, no violations were found and Mariachiles reopened with a perfect score.

We spoke to the owner of the establishment who said,

“I deeply apologize to my customers. My lease is surrounded by vacant buildings and we began to notice a pest problem. As soon as we realized this would affect the interior of our restaurant, we immediately hired a company to renovate some key features to help provide the business extra protection. This renovation took place a few days before the inspection and I realize now this exacerbated the problem. It took a couple of days for us to mitigate the pests with a qualified pest control company. As you can see, we reopened our business with a perfect-score and not a single roach or rodent was found. This is what out our customers can expect for the future. We thank our regulars who have stuck by us during these difficult times and the pandemic.”

Restaurant Reports: Failing routine inspection | Failing follow-up inspection | Failing follow-up inspection | Perfect-score inspection

JBR Finest in Jacksonville

A watermelon stand at 5676 University Boulevard was given emergency shutdown orders February 5 after it was found to be operating without a license.

The report says the stand was set up in a tent out the 76 gas station. Food was being prepared outside and was not being kept at a safe temperature for serving.

There was also no handwashing sink or running water of any kind for employees, according to the report. The owner was given 60 days to secure the required licensing.

Restaurant Reports: Failing inspection

Lunch In Back Of The Car in Jacksonville

Inspectors say another unlicensed vendor by the name of Lunch In Back Of The Car was selling enchiladas and rice at a construction site at Jackson Street And Oak Street.

The inspectors report says a construction worker was preparing the food at her private home and bringing it to sell to her coworkers. The inspector noted she observed three transactions take place for the food.

The report also notes the food was not being held at the right temperature due to it being in the trunk of her car from 7 a.m. until lunchtime.

Stop sale orders were issued. The owner was given 60 days to secure the required licensing.

Restaurant Reports: Failing inspection

All restaurant reports are provided by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations. You can search your favorite restaurants and their most recent inspections in DBPR’s licensing portal. News4Jax monitors emergency restaurant shutdowns in District 5.

District 5 covers Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, and Union Counties.

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