State inspectors found backed-up sewage, unsafe food and poor hand-washing at some of the bakeries that feed Miami-Dade its pastelitos, croquetas and coladas every day.
And two of the bakeries that failed inspection are parts of local chains.
Bakeries, retail and wholesale, fall under the purview of Florida Department of Agriculture inspectors, who also inspect supermarkets and other food facilities (but not restaurants). Agriculture Department inspectors cannot close down an establishment on a failed inspection. What they can do is drop Stop-Use Orders on areas and equipment.
If you want to file a food safety complaint about a supermarket, convenience store or bakery, contact the Florida Department of Agriculture online or by calling 800-HELP-FLA or 800-435-7352.
Karla Bakery, 6474 W. Flagler St., Miami
Here are some of the violations found at Karla Bakery’s 24-hour location by inspectors James Zheng and Margaret Alvarez on Sept. 12:
▪ In the food service area, the “fruit smoothie nozzle was found with old food residue.”
▪ The dessert cooler contained a large flan. The flan’s age, by food safety standards, blew past elderly into afterlife — nine days, when seven days is the limit. Stop Sale and tossed.
▪ The kitchen handwash sink didn’t have soap, and the kitchen warewashing sink had too much sanitizer. Properly proportioned sanitizer would measure about 200 parts per million. This measured about 500 ppm. Imagine if your pool had 2 1/2 times the normal amount of chlorine.
▪ Where did they get the coffee beans and the sponge rusk? Neither contained manufacturer information.
▪ “Garbage bags used to cover trays of bread” in the kitchen.
▪ A drawer cooler’s ambient temperature was 53 degrees, a problem when it’s supposed to keep food under 41 degrees.
Pinecrest Bakery, 11375 Bird Rd., West Miami-Dade
Here are some of the problems found at Pinecrest Bakery’s Bird Road location on Sept. 8 by Inspectors James Zheng and Catalina Ordonez:
▪ At the warewashing area, there was a “sewage back up of soapy water at the indirect connection of the ware wash sink when the compartment was draining while in use...”
▪ The mop sink didn’t have a backflow preventing device.
▪ “Food employees did not wash their hands between work at the register and preparing sandwiches.”
▪ Speaking of sandwiches, “multiple ham and cheese sandwiches” made in that morning still weren’t cooled to 41 degrees or under. Into the garbage they went after getting hit by Stop Sales. They were followed by cheese and sausage, also hit by Stop Sales for the same reason.
▪ As far as food in hot holding, which needed to be at 135 degrees and above for safekeeping, none of these were up to hot par: beef empanadas; chicken empanadas; ham and cheese empanadas; ham and cheese pastries; Colombian beef empanadas; beef pastries; cheese tequenos; ham croquetas; ham and cheese bread; cheese bread; cod croquetas; and cheese croquetas. A thunderstorm of Stop Sales ended with all the above in the garbage with the sandwiches, cheese and sausage.
▪ Indicating the rarity of using the handwashing sinks for handwashing, the inspectors saw paper receipts inside the hand sink located next to the ware wash sink and plastic equipment “stored” atop that. They also saw “food employees washing wiping cloths at the hand sink located next to the orange juice machine.”
▪ The orange juice machine lacked paper towels.
▪ In the food service area, the “in-use steam wand had not been sanitized after more than 4 hours.”
▪ The people making the food and serving it did so without hair restraints.
Soca Bakery and Cafe, 14631 SW 104th St., South Miami-Dade
Here’s what inspectors Wenndy Ayerdis and Catalina Ordonez found at Soca Bakery on Sept. 12:
▪ Being a First World food establishment requires hot water. “Hot water was not available continuously at all the hand sinks and ware wash sinks in the establishment, with the hot water flowing at one time and, then, when you returned to the sink it would be cold water and required some time running to heat up again.” The inspectors gave Soca until Sept. 26 to get the hot stuff flowing continuously.
▪ Soca has until Oct. 12 to put in a hand sink near the cake decoration station in the bakers’ work area, or they might hit all the food-related equipment in the area with Stop-Use Orders “until compliance has been achieved.”
▪ The hot water doesn’t excuse the food employees not “washing hands between entering and exiting food preparation area and handling food items, between taking orders and making coffee.”
▪ Also, the food employees “weren’t wearing a hair restraint while engaged in open food handling and preparation for customers.”
▪ In the food service and processing areas, there was a direct connection between the sewage system and the ware washing sinks. If there’s a sewage backup, there’s no way to stop the ware wash sink from turning into a sink of sewage.
▪ The food service area’s ice machine had “pink mold-like grime encrusted all over the interior housing.”
▪ A slicer on a prep table had “old food residue on plate, blade guard and meat grip.”
▪ The coffee steam wand used for milk wasn’t washed, rinsed and sanitized despite being in action for more than four hours.
▪ The employee and customer unisex restroom seems designed for cold discomfort. It “opens directly to the cold unit where unpackaged desserts are stored and served to customers.” Until this area gets renovated so there’s some barrier of distance between the restroom and the cold unit, the cold unit is under a Stop-Use Order.
▪ “Multiple bags of plantains” lacked a valid permit, manufacturer information or any proof that they came from an approved source. They got tossed.
▪ The hot holding unit’s ambient temperature was 97 degrees, earning it a Stop-Use Order and Stop Sales for beef pastries; ham and cheese pastry sandwiches; cheese pastries; spinach empanadas; beef empanadas; chicken empanadas; ham croquetas; and cheese tequenos.
▪ “Flour, dirt, and dust accumulated on the floor beneath all preparation tables and equipment.”