An Ocala fast-food restaurant was forced to temporarily shut down last Friday after a health inspector reported seven violations – one of which involved rodents and was considered as “high priority.”

A health inspector cited seven violations – one labeled as ‘high priority’ – in the decision to temporarily close the Taco Bell restaurant at 2380 College Rd. in Ocala last week.

Eight fresh, soft droppings were found on the floor next to a safe at the front counter of the Taco Bell at 2380 SW College Rd. The health inspector also reported seeing another 15 dry, hard droppings on the floor under a shelf in a wash area and five others under a hot water tank near a mop sink, according to a report on file with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Two intermediate violations also were cited. One was for an accumulation of a mold-like substance on nozzles and the underside of frozen drink machines. And the other was for an unattached pedal on a hand sink on the cookline, meaning it wasn’t accessible for employee use at all times, the report says.

The inspector also cited four basic violations. Those included:

  • The floor under a fountain area in the drive-through area and equipment on the cookline heavily soiled with an accumulation of debris;
  • A hole in the wall near a safe where rodent activity was noted;
  • An old label attached to a plastic pan on a clean dish shelf; and
  • Soil residue buildup on a shelf, pipes and lines under a fountain machine in the dining area, gaskets on a reach-in freezer at the cookline, a shelf on a rolling cart next to a reach-in freezer on the cookline, and an air vent in the women’s restroom.

The inspector returned later in the day for a follow-up inspection and reported finding four hard rodent droppings on a floor in a back room under shelves. The hole in the wall near the safe also hadn’t been corrected, and the restaurant remained closed, the report says.

The inspector returned Saturday and conducted a third inspection, which showed no violations. The restaurant was then allowed to reopen for business, the report shows.