Roaches by lamb head cooler & Star Halal, Quickfire, Pho City suspended

10:27 PM, Sep 5, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Gross Gallery: 100's of DMV Restaurant Suspensions
 PDF Document: Pho City Closure Notice  PDF Document: Star Halal Closure Notice  PDF Document: Quickfire Closure

Washington, DC (WUSA9) -- A Takoma Park butcher shop known for lamb head, goat parts, and repeat health department closures tops this week's Restaurant Alert with 2 other emergency closures.

Click here to see photos from this week's Restaurant Alert and hundreds of other DC area closures.

Inspectors temporarily closed: Star Halal, 1355-B Holton Lane, Takoma Park; Quickfire Japanese Hibachi, 566 N. Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg and Pho City, 12123 Darnestown Road, Gaithersburg, MD.  

All the establishments passed re-inspections and are back in business.

To know about health department closure orders first, follow @russptacek on Twitter or like Russ Ptacek on Facebook.

Butcher shop cited and closed twice in three months

At Star Halal on Holton Lane, the butcher shop cuts meat to order and had just reopened after the health department ordered it to close.

One of the problems health inspectors cited was no paper towels. When WUSA9's investigative reporter, Russ Ptacek, was at the shop, he also discovered no paper towels at kitchen sinks. 

The employee Ptacek spoke with said they literally just ran out and were planning to go next door to get some.

Inspectors also cited food from an unapproved source.
The worker at Star Halal explained to WUSA9 that the shop has goat heads sometimes but it only had lamb heads.  

He showed Ptacek animal carcasses in the walk-in cooler with USDA stamps.

Workers told us they have addressed the violations, including roaches in the walk-in cooler and the meat display. 

WUSA9 looked around the shop and didn't see any roaches.

Inspectors also noted a soiled display freezer and walk-in cooler.

In June, WUSA9 reported on an earlier closure for 18 health code violations.

Roach infestation closes restaurant

In Gaithersburg, Montgomery County health inspectors closed Pho City on Darnestown Road.  

An inspector reported she was "going to wash her hands" when she saw "roaches crawling on the wall."

WUSA9's Russ Ptacek asked to speak to the manager but the worker did not want to call him when we were there.  

Pho City employees wouldn't let us take a look inside their kitchen.

Japanese Hibachi shuttered for sewage back up

Also in Gaithersburg, inspectors closed Quickfire on North Frederick Avenue.
In the closure order, inspectors cited a hand washing violation, duct tape holding a thermostat to a cooker, and a sewage back-up.

Officials also reported Quickfire employees were prepping 14 pans of beef and chicken during the sewage backup.
Workers at Quickfire told WUSA9's Ptacek they didn't want him inside with a camera, and they were calling the boss.  The employees then locked the door shut.

Quickfire's manager called WUSA9 and said he didn't want to offer excuses and that they had a quick reaction, hired a professional licensed plumber and deeply sanitized the walls, tables, floors, everything.


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