Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hendry County Restaurant Food Inspection Ratings

Many Food Violations Found In Clewiston And LaBelle Restaurant Kitchens

LABELLE, FL. -- In the latest survey of 48 LaBelle and Clewiston restaurants, none were found with no food safety violations after the most recent inspections in November by the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

The only Hendry restaurant having no violations during the latest inspection was Abbie's Deli in Port LaBelle. Abbie's opened in July and has steadily improved it's food safety history.

In our restaurant food safety rating survey in February, 2011, Flora and Ella's and Rodeo Grill were included, now both have gone out of business.

The Country Place Restaurant took over the Flora and Ella's building and had numerous problems with food safety issues starting in August with 14 critical violations found. A follow up inspection was required and made October 10, with 2 critical violations.

A Country Place follow up was required and made Oct. 20 with 7 violations found, including 3 repeat violations. Many of the violations found dealt with storage and cooking temperature violations.

For some reason it appears LaBelle's "fast food" franchises seem to be cleaner than Clewiston's, with about half as many food safety violations found compared to LaBelle's. McDonald's in Clewiston had 10 total violations in November, compared to three at LaBelle's Mcdonald's.

The area eatery with the worst food safety history continues to be LaBelle's Fortune Cookie restaurant, now with 12 follow up inspections having been required since June 2010 due to the number of critical violations found. Dixie Fried Chicken, in Clewiston, had 10 critical violations.

And in Clewiston the most problematic eatery is the Florida Cafeteria with a warning issued on September 7 for 25 safety violations, 23 being "critical." It was later discovered the cafeteria had no current restaurant license nor had filed plans for a remodeling extension into the space next door adding 28 more seats and a bar.

The Florida Cafeteria had the same problem with no license and remodeling without permission on an October 7, 2010 inspection when 17 violations were found. A warning was also issued and an administrative complaint recommended by the inspector.

And the only eatery with no violations in October, LaBelle's Chalkboard Deli, unfortunately during a November 17th inspection, found were 3 critical violations. No Clewiston restaurant had zero violations on first inspection.

The LaBelle and Clewiston, Florida restaurant list below includes the name, date of last inspection and number of violations found by inspectors. (Unless noted, restaurants are in LaBelle.)

Update  11/2/2011: More restaurant food safety inspections have been added to the list below.
Update 12/3/2011: Latest updated inspections included.

Abbie's Deli  11/17/2011 none (9/21/2011 1 critical, 4 critical on 7/20/2011 1st inspection)
Palateria Los Mayas 6/30/2011 1 critical
Nuttin' Fancy Cafe 11/3/2011 1 critical (10/20/2011 2 critical)
Top Draw Bar & Grill 11/19/2011 2 total, 1 critical including plumbing
Riverbend Motorcoach Resort 3/8/2011 2 critical including raw food stored over cooked food
Chalkboard Deli 11/17/2011 3 critical incl. no employee training (10/19/2011 None, 8/11 warning issued for no food manager or employee training)
Port LaBelle Inn (Oxbow Grille) 5/13/2011 3 critical incl. metal shavings and crusted material on can opener
Log Cabin BBQ 11/19/2011 5 critical, warning issued, unable to determine employee training, manager certification, fire prevention compliance (10/4/2011 3 total, 2 critical)

Burger King LaBelle 10/19/2011 2 critical - hand washing issues
Burger King Clewiston 8/31/2011 2 total, 1 critical
Wendy's LaBelle 9/12/2011 2 critical
Wendy's Clewiston 8/17/2011 4 total, 2 critical
Little Caesar's LaBelle 8/29/2011 2 total, 1 critical
Little Caesar's Clewiston 8/30/2011 4 critical
Subway LaBelle 10/4/2011 3 total, 1 critical (consumer complaint filed)
Subway Clewiston 11/14/2011 3 critical (9/9/2011 4 total, 2 critical)
McDonald's LaBelle 9/21/2011 3 critical - hand washing issues
McDonald's Clewiston 11/14/2011 10 total, 5 critical incl. handwashing and slime in machines (8/1/2011 8 total 3 critical, 5/3 warning issued for flies, slime on shake dispenser

Hungry Howie's 8/29/2011 3 total, 2 critical
Hungry Howie's Clewiston 8/17/2011 1 critical
Popeye's LaBelle 10/4/2011 3 total, 1 critical
Popeye's Clewiston 8/17/2011 8 total, 2 critical
Big V 9/21/2011 4 critical
El Tarasco 10/13/2011 4 critical including employees not washing hands
China Buffet Clewiston 10/26/2011 4 total, 2 critical
Jones EZ Food 10/3/2011 3 total, 2 critical
Vicky's Lunch Box 10/19/2011 3 total, 2 critical
Rodeo Grill 2/23/2011 9 critical (incl. slime in ice machine) - Out of business
Flora And Ella 2/23/2011 4 critical - Out of business

Holiday Inn Express Hotel Clewiston 7/5/2011 5 total
Taco Bell/KFC LaBelle 10/10/2011 5 total, 4 critical including toxic item stored by food. Warning issued 8/16 for flies and cooler temps
Kentucky Fried Chicken Clewiston 8/26/2011 8 total, 3 critical
Clewiston Inn Dining 6/15/2011 4 total, 2 critical (200 seat restaurant)
Contrera's Restaurant 10/12/2011 5 total, 4 critical
La Margarita Tex-Mex 9/12/2011 5 total, 4 critical (no certified food manager - given 30 days to get one)
Taqueria San Juan 10/13/2011 6 critical
Purkeys BBQ 10/26/2011 6 total, 4 critical
Clewiston Country Club 7/18/2011 6 total, 4 critical, "stop sale" notice due to adulterated food (120 seats)
Best Western Of Clewiston 8/31/2011 7 total, 4 critical (180 seats)
Suzy B Lounge Clewiston 11/7/2011 7 total, 4 critical
Sonny's Real Pit Bar BQ Clewiston 7/12/2011 7 total, 4 critical incl. slime in ice machine
A Country Place Restaurant & Bakery 10/20/2011 7 total, 6 critical including 3 repeat violations, 8/11 warning issued
Beef O Brady's LaBelle 10/19/2011 7 total, 5 critical including 1 repeat violation
Beef O Brady's Clewiston 10/25/2011 7 total, 5 critical
Don's Restaurant 8/17/2011 7 total, 5 critical
Forrey Grill 10/19/2011 8 critical, warning issued, re-inspection 10/20 none

Fortune Cookie 8/29/2011 5 critical (previous history includes a "full complaint" inspection and 12 follow up inspections have been required here since June 2010)
Cely's Canteen Clewiston 11/9/2011 10 total, 4 critical including "stop" sale order
Dixie Fried Chicken Clewiston 9/9/2011 11 total, 10 critical, warning issued, "stop sale" notice for "temperature abuse", 9/15 Re-inspection None
Florida Cafeteria Clewiston 9/9/2011 4 total, 3 critical, no restaurant license ( 9/7 25 total, 23 critical - warning issued)

Also read for comparisons 2009-2010 Sunday Morning News/Southwest Florida Online Restaurant Safety Ratings: Hendry Food Safety


  1. Mary Tyner10:23 AM

    This is the kind of information that helps me make better choices when eating out. Glad to see Chalkboard Deli did well because they have some really creative, tasty sandwiches.

  2. Anonymous6:10 PM

    Seems that inspectors like to rake up violations , if these restaurants are as bad as it is claimed then close them all down and have people make their meals at home. In past there have been no reports of illness .

  3. As reported on Southwest Florida Online, one local real estate broker did get ill from eating at the former Maine's Best Seafood (now closed) at the Port LaBelle Inn. Story:


  4. Anonymous9:08 AM

    As for clean restaurants in LaBelle there are plenty of them. For example in August we found Nuttin Fancy had NO VIOLATIONS. So you shouldn't be so quick to judge a sandwich shop which has just come to town and had 4 violations on there last inspection. With all the local people in LaBelle if I was Chalkboard Deli I would be trying not to step on anyone's toes and be so judgmental when they have their own faults. A lot of restaurant owners will be offended when they see this article, word travels fast in LaBelle so they could be putting their selves right out of business. So before you print anymore false information about clean restaurants you should do some more homework and not only look at one health inspection report. People could get you for slandering their businesses.

    Chalkboard Deli Health Inspection on August 16th 2011
    1)Critical. Observed sanitizing solution exceeding the maximum concentration allowed. Over 200 in sanitizer bucket .
    2)No copy of latest inspection report.
    3)Critical. Manager lacking proof of Food Manager Certification.
    4)Critical. No proof of required employee training provided. All public food service establishments must provide the division with proof of employee training upon request, including, but not limited to, at the time of any division inspection of the establishment.

    Their Report on April 25 2011
    1)Critical. Ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous food prepared on site and held more than 24 hours with not properly date marked. Delimeat sliced on saturday not datemarked in reachincooler across from icecream station .
    2)Critical. Raw animal food not properly separated from ready-to-eat food. Raw shell eggs stored over condiments in door side of refridgerator . Corrected On Site.

  5. Anonymous9:25 AM

    REALLY???? Are you SERIOUS??? What do they serve???
    Can you eat sandwiches for breakfast lunch and dinner??? I see their last inspections that you failed to report and I would not step foot in the place!!!! You need to go and do some serious HOMEWORK before you print stuff about local restaurants that have been here for years and have many many locals that will take offense to your false information.

  6. Anonymous10:28 AM

    Seems like you have nothing better to but write a bunch of crap!! Why don't you find some real news to write about!! With the economy the way it is people DON'T need your BOGUS news!!! I guess you want LaBelle to become a ghost town just like code enforcement with their sign RULES!! Its already happening soon there will be no where to shop or eat or anything and then you will have real news to write about!!!! The headlines will read: LaBelle Ghost town after city, county and local news paper runs everyone out of town and where will you get you your tax dollars than!!! Most restaurant owners and employees own homes in La Belle so if they have no work and no business they will also be forced out of town. So before you print such petty shit think of the lively hood of all the local people we would all like to stay here but it seems THE BIG SHOTS OF LABELLE WANT TO BE HERE ALONE.

  7. Anonymous2:01 PM


  8. Anonymous9:06 PM

    Search for yourself most 'critical' violations are for signs missing etc.

  9. Anonymous9:11 PM

    I doubt that he is ever seen in a restaurant eating a meal.
    The real print newspaper people from both Caloosa Belle and The Hendry Glades Sunday News are very visible and well know about town

  10. Most "critical" food safety violations reported by the restaurant inspectors are not for "signs missing" but for food held at wrong temperatures, dirty kitchens and equipment(slime in ice machines is common), and food stored incorrectly.


  11. Anonymous10:03 AM

    Don't you have any REAL news to share ???? Get over this restaurant SHIT and report some real news!!!! All of the restaurants are having a hard time as it is!! SO please DON'T write about us unless they close us down for some reason!!! Their are plenty of FULL SERVICE RESTAURANT you can eat a get a GREAT MEAL not just a sandwiches!!!

  12. Anonymous5:45 PM

    This family is so very pleased this publication prints the restaurant violations. It is impressive when we can see how the establishment handles its own. When we see an improvement, we know the management cares and wants to comply with the safety issues for us, the Public. Suzanne

  13. @Suzanne, there have been definite improvements at individual restaurants over the years since we began doing food safety articles. At one time, about two years ago, for example, many restaurants failed to have certified food managers and trained staff, and fortunately those violations have become rare today.


  14. Anonymous3:24 PM

    All you have to do is pay around 200.00 to get a package for managers than they certify all employees!!! Not a big deal, just another fee for restaurants. LaBelle going down hill everyday. It makes me sick that I own a restaurant and home in this town, a big waste of tax dollars!!!! People will soon have to eat and shop in ft. Must than everyone will really have something to BITCH about. Looks like you try to print stuff to piss everyone off from all the articles I've seen. You like to insult the people for what their children do, when your kids are grown you can't help what they do!!! So why do you get off by slandering the parents.

  15. Anonymous8:00 PM

    I think anyone can b a food manager!!! So they are right it has nothing to do with restaurant doing anything different, its about paying their fees to keep cert. hanging on the wall!!! You sir have really hit a nerve with several people!!! But hey that's what you do best!!! I like the comment on how the REAL NEW PAPERS are well known around town!!! So So true. You must be the most hated person in labelle. Signed another pissed off person in labelle!!!

  16. Anonymous7:18 AM

    Well I guess we are all waiting to see if you have any comments to the REAL RESTAURANT OWNERS!!!! I think they know a little most than you think!!! We notice how you only have comments to people who agree with you!! We are part of the back bone of this town, there would be a lot less tax revenue without us!!! What are you doing to contribute, besides slandering restaurants and official people in office for their kids action whom most are adults!!! Come on Mr. Big Shot let's here some comments on why you feel the need to print A BUNCH OF CRAP!!! ANOTHER PISSED OFF RESTAURANT OWNER WHO HAS BEEN HERE FOR YEARS WITH A CLEAN PLACE!!!

  17. Anonymous8:35 AM

    We have enough problems with code enforcement without your Bull!!! It sure is funny how certain people can have sign and banners and others get harassed !!! I guess its all in who makes your signs. I know for a fact several restaurant on 80 are being harassed every week for banner or flags with info about what you serve!!! Why don't they make same rules for all!!!! To bad we can't afford sign in this town of you can you are allowed to have whatever you want!! Go around town and check it out, we have seems of your lining the right person pockets you can have all the sign you want!! We've taken pic, tures of things that have been up for several months and are still there, but let us put one up for one day and they are leaving note on our door to take it down. Business Owner on 80 pissed off!!!

  18. There are city and county sign ordinances that code inspectors should be following to avoid road visual "clutter" of banners, flags, and unlicensed signs. If anyone sees a sign that they believe is improper, let me know and I'll investigate. A call to the county or city code enforcement office should me made about any temporary signs, banners, or flags.

  19. Anonymous12:49 PM

    You are supposed to have so many square feet of sign per square feet of your building, but if the sign company in LABELLE DOES YOUR SIGNS your signs can b whatever you want. Perfect example look at the building across from Beef O Brady! Home Life Auto Boat way to many signs per square footage for front of building but they got away with it because of who did signs. There are plenty more just like them in town. This is not cape coral. Business owner ready to move else where.

  20. Anonymous9:32 AM

    Grammar lessons?

  21. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Is the best you could come up with grammar lessons?? we have a real problem here and thats all you can say!!!! Who cares about grammar lessons when this town becomes ghost town due to business shutting down left and right!!!

  22. Anonymous11:54 AM

    maybe SHE can give grammar lessons to the GHOSTS!! LMAO

  23. Taco bell is by fat the worst food in town