‘Black matter’ and not-so-fresh food at a Broward Fresh Market, inspectors say

Inspectors visiting The Fresh Market in Coral Springs found not-so-fresh food and enough cleanliness problems to give the store the lowest inspection result, “Re-Inspection Required.”

That re-inspection will occur before Sept. 20. In the interim, the store at 4633 N. University Dr. will continue to be open for $6.99 per bottle weekend wine sales and Chuck and Chicken Tuesday.

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The Florida Department of Agriculture inspects packaged food sellers, from supermarkets down to FedEx shipping centers, wholesale and retail bakeries and food processing, distribution and storage facilities. Unlike restaurants inspected by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, failed Department of Agriculture inspections don’t close the establishment.

But, an inspector can put Stop-Use Orders on equipment and areas. Enough of those and the business might decide it can’t or shouldn’t open.

Inspectors Pedro Llanos and Terri Rainey didn’t have to drop any Stop-Use Orders, but did fire the Stop Sale gun a few times. Here are some of the problems they found during Wednesday’s Fresh Market inspection:

Someone working in the produce area “changed tasks without washing hands and changing gloves.” Then again, the handwash sink in the produce prep area was “blocked by equipment.”

Out in the retail produce area, watermelon that had been cut for more than a day measured 45 degrees inside. That’s four degrees above the maximum temperature to keep cold storage food from being a bacteria boat. There’s a reason you put fruit under refrigeration after it’s cut. Stop Sale on the watermelon.

The same problem at the same temperature got Stop Sales slapped on packages of ham and turkey for sale in the deli area.

Also in the deli area, containers of cooked onion had been there longer than seven days.

The produce cooler in the backroom had standing water. The walk-in freezer used for deli products had a “build up of ice.”

In the backroom, there was “a build up of black matter inside of the ice machine.”

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