Sewage, wastewater found at Westside pizza restaurant

In downtown Jacksonville, rodent droppings spotted at deli

By Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Recent inspections led to temporary closures of two Jacksonville restaurants.

Sewage and wastewater landed a Westside pizza restaurant into hot water with health inspectors.

It was all the toppings and more at the Little Caesars Pizza on Edgewood Avenue West. A routine inspection last week led to a one-day closure.

INSPECTION REPORTS: Little Caesars Pizza

Based on the report, a clogged floor drain under a kitchen sink prevented water from draining out of a triple sink. A warning was issued for standing water around the clogged drain.  A box of cookies and pizza boxes were stored improperly on the floor, the report shows.

The problems were corrected while the inspector was on-site. The business was back open after the inspector’s next visit a day later.

Akel's Deli, located in the heart of downtown, also landed a spot on the list of closures. The deli on Forsyth Street had to shut down for a day.

According to state records, dried rodent droppings were found throughout the deli during each of the inspector’s recent four visits. An inspection report from May 23 shows the deli was cited for three high-priority violations after 56 dry rodent droppings were found throughout the kitchen and dining areas.

INSPECTION REPORTS: Akel's Deli

Paul Ganim, owner of Akel's Deli, said he’s disappointed that his restaurant's spotless record is now tarnished. He issued the following statement:

Three months earlier we had a rodent come in through a common wall of another business. We took care of it immediately including calling an exterminator, repairing holes in walls and cleaning up. Without our knowledge the rodent left droppings that we didn’t see inside the motor compressor components of a cooler and freezer and underneath heavy deep shelving close to the floor. These are the droppings the inspector found. We clean daily! We saw no evidence of a rodent since we addressed the problem that a rodent entered our establishment and we’ve seen none since the recent inspection. This inspection report inaccurately presents us in a bad light. And I am currently looking to pursue an appeal for this inspection. We’ve never had a problem in the last eight years we’ve been here since I opened! A lot of what the inspector found was deep in the bottom of coolers or freezer and is not visible without being on hands and knees with a flashlight. 

 Respectively,
Paul Ganim, Akels Deli

Ganim said he's hired an attorney and will be appealing the inspection.

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