Health and Fitness

Roaches, flies, mold close a Miami FL area Smoothie King


Despite the “open” sign, this Smoothie King on Flagler Street in West Miami-Dade was closed all weekend after a Friday Florida Department of Agriculture inspection.

A West Miami-Dade Smoothie King didn’t have to close after it failed state inspection Friday because of, among other things, roaches, mold, flies and handwashing issues.

But after a Florida Department of Agriculture inspector to put Stop-Use Orders on nine pieces of equipment, including an ice machine, a smoothie station and a blender, management of the Smoothie King at 9231 W. Flagler St. sidelined the store. A sign on the door says the store plans to reopen Tuesday.

READ MORE: Miami area restaurant filth: a Taco Bell, a Dunkin’, rodent poop on bags of flour

Smoothie Kings, which sell other companies’ protein bars, powders and nutritional drinks as well as its store-made smoothies, aren’t considered restaurants, but health food stores. As such, they’re inspected by the Florida Department of Agriculture, which inspects grocery stores, convenience stores, food distributors, food processors and food storage facilities.

Unlike Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspections of restaurants, a failed Department of Agriculture inspection doesn’t automatically shut down the establishment. But, the inspector can hit so many areas and/or pieces of equipment with Stop-Use Orders that management decides it can’t or shouldn’t stay open for business.

And, that’s what happened at this Smoothie King, owned by Fausto Faraldo’s Related Group Flagler, after Inspector James Zheng came by Friday. Zheng dropped Stop-Use Orders on a blender; two two-door reach-in coolers; two chest freezers; a smoothie station; an ice machine; a three-door reach-in freezer; and the three-compartment sink.

Here are the highlights, so to speak, from Zheng’s inspection:

No soap or paper towels in the employee unisex restroom. No paper towels at the handwashing sink next to the three-compartment sink.

“Multiple dead roaches observed in the electrical cabinet adjacent to where the blenders are located on the counter.”

“Multiple live and dead roaches observed in space beneath the blender rinsing station.”

“Multiple small flying insects observed flying around food service area and on shelving of smoothie station.”

In the back room, there were “several live and dead roaches observed on the floor behind the reach-in freezer and coolers” as well as “multiple small flying insects observed flying around the back room” including on “on cleaned containers on a drying rack located above the three-compartment sink.

The ice machine had a “black, mold-like growth observed along left and side walls of the ice machine where ice is held; on the bottom of the plastic surface next to the door to the ice machine; and, on the bottom of the ice-making portion of the ice machine.”

Sign on Flagler Smoothie King
This sign on the door at the Smoothie King at 9231 W. Flagler St. declares it’s closed until Tuesday. A Florida Department of Agriculture inspector hit several pieces of equipment with Stop-Use Orders on Friday, July 29. DAVID J. NEAL

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Since 1989, David J. Neal’s domain at the Miami Herald has expanded to include writing about Panthers (NHL and FIU), Dolphins, old school animation, food safety, fraud, naughty lawyers, bad doctors and all manner of breaking news. He drinks coladas whole. He does not work Indianapolis 500 Race Day.

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