WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA) - A 9 Wants to Know review of food safety suspensions identified closures in Mazza Gallerie, Georgetown, and into Prince George's County ranging from a crab shack to an AMC theater to a Cosi restaurant.
See what we found in the above video Food Alert report.
Unheeded warnings to blame
Unheeded warnings to employ a food safety manager, according to health department records, were to blame for several closures.
Certified food safety managers are required to be on duty to prevent health risks and lead staff on safe food handling, storage, and preparation.
According to documents reviewed by 9 Wants to Know, restaurants that defy the order and operate without one are likely to have other violations that could make customers sick.
"I dispute it all" said Georgetown coffee shop manager
Red Toque Express's gourmet coffee bar, 1003 Wisconsin Ave NW, is an example of an establishment operating without a food safety manager where inspectors found dozens of violations.
The coffee bar is just down the street from M and Wisconsin in the heart of Georgetown.
Besides a citation for no food safety manager, inspectors reported a dirty toilet, dirty food contact points and floor, no hot water, hand washing violations and 23 other violations.
The manager said "I dispute it all" and hung up when contacted by 9 Wants to Know about the 28 total violations cited by inspectors at the Georgetown coffee shop.
Rice with mice feces cited at Chinese crab shack
Even after a closure at Cheng's Carryout on Kenilworth Avenue in Capitol Heights, customers raved about the crabs and rice, but it's the smell and mice that alarmed inspectors.
Prince Georges County Health Department records cite the restaurant with mice droppings all over the place, including in the food.
Specifically, inspectors identified mice droppings in the flour, and the carryout's rice.
Federal Center carryout cited for roaches, flies, and mice
At Federal Center near the Waterfront, regulars, carryout in hand, were shocked to learn inspectors suspended Sal's Middle Eastern, 400 C St. SW.
Inspectors cited food at unsafe temperatures, roaches, flies and mice feces.
"All the issues you are seeing here are already resolved," said owner Syed Wahid. "That's why we reopened."
Wahid said the vermin problem escalated because of a non-performing exterminator he has since replaced.
The manager invited our team inside, behind the counter, where we did not observe any violations.
North Capitol and Florida pizza shop cited for multiple violations
Inspectors shut down New York Pizza, 2 Florida Ave NE, citing no hot water for cleaning, food at unsafe temperatures, and food unprotected from contamination.
Warnings not heeded at Mazza Gallery
Prior to a closure at Mazza Gallery, reports show AMC theaters was warned just last month about the requirement to have a food safety manager on duty.
Across the street at Cosi just off Wisconsin Avenue Northwest, inspectors gave the same warning in July.
Despite previous violations and notices of pending re-inspections for compliance, last week inspectors report they closed Cosi when it continued to operate without a food safety manager.
Two months of inspections reviewed by 9 Wants to Know identified the warning and citations for cheese at unsafe temperatures, dirty food-contact points, and mice droppings.
AMC Theater warned, then suspended & inspectors find debris in popcorn drawer
Inside Mazza Gallerie inspectors suspended food services at AMC Theatres citing no food safety manager during last week's inspection there.
Health department records indicate inspectors had warned AMC twice about the violation in inspections last month where inspectors also cited mold on the ice machine and debris in the move theater's popcorn drawer.
Except for Red Toque Express in Georgetown, reports indicate the others have passed re-inspection and reopened.
Prince George's County also reports closing three illegal roadside operations.
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