Food court restaurant had hundreds of rodent droppings


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A Chinese restaurant, Mandarin Express, located at 3100 College Road, Ocala (inside the Paddock Mall), was closed down due to hundreds of rodent droppings and other violations.

Majority of the issues noted by the inspector were serious, repeat violations.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation cites violations of Florida’s sanitation and safety laws, which are based on the standards of U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code. High Priority violations are those which could contribute directly to a foodborne illness or injury and include items such as cooking, reheating, cooling and hand-washing.

  • Case/container/bag of food stored on the floor in the kitchen. At the cook line, sauce buckets on floor, Employee moved off the floor.
  • Employee beverage container on a food preparation table or over/next to clean equipment/utensils. Multiple employee drinks on prep table and above equipment.
  • Employee personal food not properly identified and segregated from food to be served to the public. In walk-in cooler and reach-in cooler, milk, and fruits above customers food.
  • Food storage container/container lid cracked or broken. In walk-in cooler, chicken container cracked.
  • Rodent activity present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. At the dry storage area (common area), approximately hundreds of rodent droppings on the floor. At the dry storage area, the operator has, single service, flour, sugar, seasoning in plastic containers and can food.
  • The handwash sink used for purposes other than handwashing — employee filled pot using handwash sink.

The inspector reported that there was no plan review submitted or approved for renovations that were made or are in progress. The owner of the restaurant must submit plans and plan review application to DBPR H and R Plan Review. Plans must be submitted and approved within 30 days.

Additionally, the dry storage room at the mall was not on plans. Operator have, dry goods and single service.

No proof of required state approved employee training provided for any employee hired more than 60 days ago.

The restaurant was closed, however, despite multiple repeat violations, was allowed to reopen. The restaurant is scheduled to be reinspected.

This is not the first time Paddock Mall food court restaurants have been plagued with rats and mice. The food court has also had issues with roaches.