Health inspector shuts down Ocala strip-mall eatery after finding live roaches

A health inspector forced an Ocala resident to shut its doors last week after finding issues with roaches inside the eatery.

The Latin American Café, located at 1427 NE 25th Ave. in Ocala, was forced to close last week after a health inspector cited the eatery with seven violations.

The Latin American Café, located at 1427 NE 25th Ave., was closed last Wednesday at 1:20 p.m. after the health inspector cited seven violations – two of which were listed as high priority, a report on file with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation states.

The most egregious violation centered on live roaches being found in several areas of the restaurant, including the dining room, a cabinet at a fountain area, the front counter and in a wash area. And roach excrement and/or droppings were spotted in a wash area and on wood front counter.

Two intermediate violations also were recorded. Those were for a handwash sink that wasn’t accessible for employee uses because items were stored in it, and a spray bottle containing a toxic substance that wasn’t labeled.

The restaurant also was cited with three basic violations. Those included:

  • Dead roaches found on the floor near the ice machine and in a wash area;
  • An employee’s personal drink container sitting on a shelf over a prep table; and
  • The wood on several counters at a wait station weren’t properly sealed.

 The health inspector returned the following day and the only violation that remained was the issue with the counters that weren’t properly sealed. The restaurant was then deemed to have met inspection standards and was allowed to reopen shortly before 9:30 a.m.