WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) - This week's report has the regular no hotwater violation, but with a twist along with a confusing visit to aTakoma Park grocery where we couldn't tell the mice droppings from thespilled Ethiopian spices.
Click the video above to see whether you believe the shopkeeper's claims about black specs or a restaurant worker's claims she was trained in food safety (so, we ask her about the safe temperature for holding hot food).
Besides Takoma park, inspectors temporarily closed businesses in Arlington, Washington, D.C., and Clinton, Md.
Crowded Woodley Park Spot Closed With 10 Violations
In Woodley Park, there's often a line to get in to crack the seafood atHot & Juicy Crawfish on Connecticut Avenue N.W. where inspectorscited 10 violations.
Hot & Juicy's citations included no one certified and trained in food safety and operating with no hot water.
A woman employees identified as the certified food manager acknowledged she hasn't even taken the sanitation test.
"I'm actually working on it," she said. "I already passed the course. I'm just waiting to take the test."
Manager Couldn't Answer Food Safety Questions
She couldn't answer our basic food safety questions like what's the basic holding temperature for holding hot food.
The required minimum temperature is 140 degrees. The Hot & Juicy Crawfish worker guessed '70.'
The restaurant had corrected the violation of operating with no hotwater, but the worker wrongly guessed the required minimum as between100 and 110.
The correct answer is 110, minimum.
Our thermometer recorded their hot water as reaching 137 degrees.
Experts say that's so hot, it could burn.
Arlington Cafes Closed For Operating With No Water
In Arlington, Café Sazon got in trouble for the same thing as their neighbor across the Columbia Pike, El Tutumaso.
Inspectors say there was a water main break, and when they came arrivedboth restaurants were continuing to operate without any running water.
The manager at El Tutumaso says he hadn't noticed the water was off
And showed us it is hot and running now.
Across the street at Sazon, they wouldn't allow us into their kitchen, but did show us the water now flows in the bathroom.
Jerry's Subs Closed With 22 Violations
At Jerry's Subs on Coventry Way in Clinton, inspectors cited
They asked us to leave when we requested to see conditions in their kitchen.
Inspectors ordered Jerry's closed citing a sewage backup on the kitchenfloor, no hot water or soap at a hand sink, and dirty ice maker, andfloors.
Takoma Park Grocer Closed For Rodents
Inside Malik Grocers on Holton Lane In Takoma Park, the owner assured uswhat we found at first were actually spilled kalongi spices.
Although they look identical to mice droppings, we did find a bag ofEthiopian kalongi spices in the store and saw it could be true.
Black Spice Can't Explain Rodent Droppings In Grocer's Corner
But that didn't explain what we found in the corner.
The owner acknowledged what we found in the corner was mice droppings.
She said she believed they had fallen of a store fixture that had beenmoved from where the infestation was prior to bringing in anexterminator.
She showed us that area had been cleaned top to bottom.
Malik's owner also showed us a copy of their recent visit from an exterminator.
All the businesses passed re-inspections prior to our visits and have reopened for business.