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DC food trucks use rodent cited kitchen; Starbucks, Palisades Pizza, others cited

9:46 AM, Nov 8, 2013   |    comments
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Photo Gallery: Gross Gallery: 100's of DMV Restaurant Suspensions

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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9)-- WUSA9 cameras spot DC food trucks at a Virginia kitchen inspectors suspended for rodent violations.  The Arlington cafe is one of seven restaurants ordered closed in this report.

Updated: To see a photo gallery with hundreds of Washington area restaurant closures since 2012 click here.

Inspectors temporarily closed: Starbucks, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, DC; Palisades Pizza, 4855 MacArthur Boulevard, NW, DC; Lindy's 2040 I Street, NW, DC; West Wing Cafe at Mazza Gallerie, 5300 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, DC; Roger Miller Restaurant, 941 Bonifant Street, Silver Spring, Md.; Wok Express, 9615 Lost Knife Road, Gaithersburg, Md.; Nell's Carryout, 1199 Fern Street, Arlington, Va.

All restaurants we visited passed re-inspection and are back in business.

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

Nell's Carryout

In Arlington, VA at South Fern and 12th Street we found what looks like a diner from the outside but when we were here, the diner wasn't open and we found what looks like a large DC food truck operation.

Inspectors closed Nell's Carryout citing rodent droppings on the slicer and chicken wings being partially cooked.

A man who identified himself as the owner of Nell's said he fixed all the health code violations but, we'd have to wait to look inside its kitchen.

He said we'd have to wait an hour and then he'd let us look around Nell's kitchen but after one hour, he didn't allow us into the building.

DC Health would only say, in general, trucks on record as using the kitchen reported "new stations" during the closure.

We have repeatedly asked DC Health questions about food trucks using that location, including documents that would show names, and whether they used different kitchens during the closure, but the department has not been responsive.

"This closure was over 3 weeks ago so the team has to look up what the new station was," said DC Health spokeswoman Najma Roberts. 

Palisades Pizza and Clam Bar

On MacArthur Boulevard, NW, inspectors cited Palisades Pizza and Clam Bar with 24 violations including failing to minimize vermin, a dead fly in the ice cream freezer and live and dead roaches in the storage area. 

It was also cited for not staffing anyone certified in food safety management, also called CFM.  We spoke to the owner who said the problems had been cleared up but when we visited, there was no CFM on duty.

Starbucks

Near L'Enfant Plaza Metro on Maryland Avenue, SW, inspectors closed Starbucks citing 3 violations including potentially hazardous food holding temperatures and not staffing anyone certified in food safety.

We asked Starbucks if it had a CFM on duty when we visited but management said it wasn't allowed to speak to the media.

Lindy's

In Foggy Bottom,  on I Street, NW inspectors closed Lindy's Bon Appetit and Red Lion citing 5 violations including rat droppings seen in the kitchen.  Lindy's owner declined our request to look around and asked us to leave.

Roger Miller Restaurant

In Silver Spring on Bonifant Street, inspectors closed Roger Miller Restaurant citing 19 violations including roaches inside the kitchen and roach excrement on the kitchen walls.

The owner let WUSA9 investigative reporter Russ Ptacek in but not with a camera. Ptacek found lots of dead roaches in traps set by exterminators, but no live bugs.

Wok Express

On Lost Knife Road in Gaithersburg, inspectors closed Wok Express citing a roach infestation and reported five roaches running out of the dishwasher.

When WUSA9 looked around the kitchen, we found live and dead roaches.

The manager showed us pest control paperwork and said they're working on improvements

West Wing Cafe

At Mazza Gallerie on Wisconsin Avenue, NW, inspectors closed West Wing Café for not staffing anyone certified in food safety management and no valid business license.

West Wing Café was still under a suspension order when we visited but we couldn't find the required health hazard closure poster anywhere.  A possible $500 violation, but DC Health Department records don't indicate any action.

There was no closure placard on the outside of Mazza Gallerie though West Wing Café is right inside its front doors. Health department regulations require that placard stay up until it passes a reinspection and they believe it's safe for you to visit. 

All the restaurants passed reinspection and are back in business.

Air Date: November 7, 2013

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