Complaint from diner led inspectors to temporarily shut down Boca Raton restaurant

Customer found rodent dropping in sandwich

BOCA RATON, Fla. - A customer who had a less than pleasant dining experience at a Boca Raton restaurant made a complaint to the state about it. Inspectors came and shut it down for a day because of what was found.

The state got an anonymous call about Cavalieri's Restaurant on Federal Highway in Boca Raton. The diner said they cut an eggplant parmesan sub in half, and when they removed the cheese they found quote, "a little black hard thing that looked like poop."

When inspectors visited the kitchen, they found more of those black hard objects that should not be in your food.

RELATED: INTERACTIVE RESTAURANT INSPECTIONS DATABASE

The Consumer Watchdog went to Cavalieri’s Restaurant to give the owner a chance to respond and to see what he’s done to clean up the restaurant.

When confronted with the inspectors report that showed inspectors found 30 - 40 fresh rodent droppings, a man named Carlos, who said he was the owner, responded, “That’s what the inspector says.”

“You’re disagreeing with what the inspector said?” asked the Consumer Watchdog.

“I don’t know if it was fresh or not,” responded Carlos.

The Consumer Watchdog went on to question Carlos and asked him if he’s seen any rodent droppings. He said he saw what the inspector saw and agreed that the inspector did find rodent droppings. 

Carlos said he has been in business twelve years and never had a complaint like this. He also questioned the validity of the complaint because it was anonymous.

The state allows anonymous tips and the restaurant can argue all it wants about whether the diner really found something in their sandwich, but it doesn't matter because the state still found evidence of rodents. Cavalieri's reopened after it cleaned up and was re-inspected. 

Two other restaurants in our area had stop sales on food due to potentially hazardous temperature issues more than once in the past year. Senor Burrito (142 SE 6 Ave., Delray Beach) had a stop sale on May 7 when inspectors showed up, and two days later on May 9 were issued another stop sale.

Eduardo from Senor Burrito says he's been in business for 17 years and is constantly working on keeping food at the correct temperature. He said the inspector came at lunch time when the cooler is being opened and closed which causes the temperature to go down. Still, he replaced Freon in one of the coolers to help it maintain temperature.

El Camino Mexican Soul Food & Tequila Bar was issued a stop sale on April 2 and also on April 22.  Our call to this restaurant was not returned.

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