A pizza restaurant at the Paddock Mall food court was temporarily closed last week after a health inspector found evidence of roach and rodent activity.
Sbarro, which is located at 3100 SW College Road, Suite 202-2 in Ocala, was forced to temporarily close on Monday, August 28 after a failed inspection, according to a report filed by a health inspector with the Florida Department of Business and Profession Regulation.
The inspector cited the restaurant for a total of 17 violations, including the presence of roaches (live and dead) and rodent droppings.
According to the report, one live roach was found on the floor under the ice machine and another live roach was spotted on the wall behind the hand washing sink. Seven dead roaches were observed on a roll cart near the ware wash area, three dead roaches were on a wall behind the hand washing sink, and approximately 10 dead roaches were under equipment in the back kitchen area.
The inspector observed rodent droppings throughout the restaurant, including approximately 50 droppings under the stove and dough mixer in the back kitchen area, 10 droppings on the frame of the dough mixer, 25 droppings on shelves under the fountain machine at the front counter, and 20 droppings on the floor under a table near the pizza oven.
The restaurant was also cited for storing food at temperatures greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit; failing to properly mark the date on food that was prepared onsite and held more than 24 hours; and the presence of dirt buildup on the roll cart and shelf under the prep table.
In addition, large gaps were observed between floor tiles in the back kitchen area, and a large gap was visible between the door and frame while the door was closed. The inspector noted that the “outer openings” were not protected during operation, and “vermin and/or cross contamination” were present in the restaurant.
Sbarro remained closed after the initial inspection, and the health inspector returned later that week on Thursday, August 31. During this visit, a live roach was observed under the hand washing sink, and another live roach was found inside an electric panel near the back door. An on-duty manager killed the two roaches and cleaned the area, according to the report.
While no rodent droppings or dead roaches were found on the premises during the second visit, the inspector noted that another follow-up inspection was required, and the restaurant was forced to remain closed.
The inspector returned to Sbarro on Friday, September 1, and the restaurant was permitted to reopen the same day after no violations were found.
According to health inspection records, the restaurant has failed a total of seven inspections dating back to June 23 of this year.