Darrell’s Diner in Ocala was forced to temporarily close its doors after a health inspector found 18 health code violations, including four that were considered high priority.
According to a health inspection report filed by a health inspector with the Florida Department of Business and Profession Regulation, Darrell’s Diner, which is located at 1031 S Pine Street in Ocala, was shut down on Friday, October 28 after a failed inspection.
Among the issues the restaurant was cited for were four high priority violations, including the presence of rodent activity.
The report states that two dead rodents were found on a sticky pad that was on the floor underneath the oven, near the back door. The inspector also observed rodent excrement inside the diner, including three rodent droppings that were spotted on the floor underneath the unused reach-in cooler outside of the unused walk-in cooler in the dry storage room.
Additional high priority violations cited in the report include the dish machine’s chlorine sanitizer not being at proper minimum strength; an employee touching a bare body part and then handling food preparation, cleaning equipment or utensils, and touching unwrapped single-service items without first washing their hands; and Mozzarella cheese not being properly discarded within seven days after opening or preparation.
The diner was cited for several intermediate violations, including the handwashing sink being used for purposes other than washing hands; no paper towels or hand drying device and/or soap being provided at the handwashing sink; and the inspector noted that the food manager’s certification expired in May 2022.
Basic violations cited in the report include several building components, attachments, or fixtures being in poor repair, including a repeat violation for a water leak underneath a three-compartment sink. The inspector also found one dead roach on a shelf that was located near the back door.
The report does not indicate whether or not the restaurant has yet reopened. In order for the establishment to reopen its doors, it will be required to pass a follow-up health inspection.