Saturday, December 03, 2011

Hendry Restaurant Food Safety Inspections - Still Many Dirty Kitchens

Only One Restaurant With Zero Food Safety Violations In Hendry County

LABELLE, FL. -- In the latest survey of 48 LaBelle and Clewiston restaurants, only one was 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.

Top Draw Bar and Grill, a fictitious name for actual owner Parrot's Pub, Inc., a corporation formed October 27, 2011 has taken over the old Rodeo Grill location. It's owned by Nancy S. Kelly of Naples, and Robert N. Casale III of Cape Coral.

Kelly, 76 years old, has owned various businesses including Club Top Draw, Palace Games, Palace Casino, Key West Casino, and Daily Dolly Jackpots. She operates adult Vegas-style gaming rooms in Lee and Collier counties.

Casale was part owner of Mirone's Italian Restaurant in Kissimmee, Fl. until it went out of business in 2008.

Top Draw had two safety violations November 22nd, the inspector finding plumbing problems, including a disconnected sink pipe.

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.

(Update: A Country Place Restaurant is closed. They were evicted by the building owner on December 20, 2011.)

It appears LaBelle's fast food franchises seem to be cleaner than Clewiston's, with about half or less 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. However, Dixie Fried Chicken in Clewiston, had an inspection showing 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.

(Update: Chalkboard Deli is closed. As of January 2012 the space is empty and advertised for lease.)

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.)

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) (Update Jan. 2012: The Cafe is now closed)
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 *Update 12/15/11 1 critical
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 (Update 12/15/11 - 1 critical violation, food stored on floor, corrected on site)
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 11/15/2011 5 total, 2 critical
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
DSM Country Inn - Clewiston Inn 6/15/2011 4 total, 2 critical (200 seat restaurant) *Update 12/6/11 3 critical including no proof of food manager certification and no employee training
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) *Update 12/6/11 3 total, 2 critical
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 *Update 11/17/11 5 total, 3 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. Anonymous11:04 AM

    You know, I have said this before, but it is worth repeating.
    A "violation" can be something as simple as a trash can with a missing lid. Even the dumpster outside if the lid is open counts as a violation.
    So, while you are casting doubt on the local eateries, perhaps you should consider the fact that more people get sick from their own kitchens than from a commercial kitchen.

    You seem to have so little content that you enjoy pointing out the same reports over an over.
    Personally I find your journalistic ability in doubt.

  2. There are standard violations and there are "critical" violation as noted in the reports. (I have never seen a violation for a "trash can with a missing lid") - Editor

  3. Anonymous10:39 AM

    People's kitchens are worse than commercial kitchens???? Are you delusional???

  4. Anonymous7:42 PM

    no I am not delusional are you?
    when is the last time you sanitized your counter tops? and I mean made a solution of bleach water of not more than 10ppm and properly disinfected the surface? They do that often in a place like Mc'D's or similar. My point is and will be that, home cooks are often NOT TRAINED in sanitation, a commercial establishment is held to a much higher standard and is actually inspected. When was the last time the health inspector looked at the gasket of your refrigerator door?

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