WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Caught on camera – WUSA9 spots what looks like rat feces at one of two Popeye's restaurants ordered closed and cited for rodent violations.
The chicken restaurants, and three Union Station cafes are among seven health department closures in this week's Restaurant Alert.
The Washington, DC Department of Health temporarily closed: Popeye's, 634 Rhode Island Ave; Popeye's, 409 8th St SE; Move & Groove, 5119 Georgia Ave NW; Cosmo's Café, 600 Maryland Ave SW; King BBQ, Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave. NW; Thunder Grill, Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave. NW; Vittorio's Pizza, Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
All the restaurant passed reinspection and are back in business.
Second closure at same Popeye's
The inspection resulted in the second health department closure for the 8th Street SE Popeye's.
A 2012 WUSA9 Restaurant Alert at the Barracks Row location reported health officials closed the chicken restaurant for food stored at potentially sickening temperatures and mice.
In the January 2014 closure order, inspectors cited "rat feces observed on the floor" and nesting conditions called "rodent harborage" - and a "a feed site."
WUSA9 video shows what looks like rate feces we observed underneath the soda cabinet in the dining room.
Food safety experts say rodents carry disease and can contaminate food with urine or feces.
Rodents were also cited in the closure of the Rhode Island Avenue Popeye's.
Rhode Island Ave. Popeye's also ordered closed
At the Rhode Island Shopping Center location, inspectors cited rodent droppings observed in various locations, mold observed on the ice machine's ice chute, and cold food at potentially unsafe temperatures.
Three Union Station restaurants ordered closed
At Union Station, the health department ordered three closures.
In the grand entry hall, inspectors closed Thunder Grill citing operating with "not hot water" and circumstances that "may endanger the public health."
Downstairs at King BBQ Que, workers left a note saying they were closed for the day because of "no hot water," but inspectors cited a "heavy infestation of vermin."
Union Station's Vittorio Restaurant was ordered closed for the second time in a month.
In December, inspectors cited mice droppings and a live roach observed on the service counter
This months inspectors closed it again, citing a "heavy infestation of vermin" and "circumstances that may endanger public health"
The owner says the repeat closure occurred despite efforts to stay on top of the invading critters, cleaning every day.
He says the station's rodent problem is invading his restaurant
Besides taking down walls, he's taking apart equipment to clean and try to prevent another rodent suspension.
A padlock shuttered Move and Groove on Georgia Avenue when we were there, inspectors cited "illegal food prep" "at the dumpster area" "outside in "the back" of the restaurant.
Inspectors also closed L'Enfant Plaza's popular pay by the pound buffet Cosmo Café, citing 13 violations.
The Cosmo closure order cited "hot food held at improper temperatures," Instead of the safe, mandated 140 degrees, hamburgers held at 92, and chicken at 93 and cross contamination risks, "like lettuce and spinach being washed" "while raw chicken (is) also being washed in the (same) sink"