Philadelphia health inspectors ended 2019 with the closure of more than two dozen food facilities in the city in the latter half of December.

Locations closed in this edition of Clean Plates include one Bustleton day-care center, a half-dozen local markets throughout the city, a poultry shop in the Italian Market, and a Center City BBQ joint.

Well over half the locations that suffered closures in the second half of December had issues with handwashing, including infractions like a lack of adequately hot water (at least 100 degrees), no soap or paper towels, and sinks blocked from use by items like bottles, boxes, and metal containers. While many instances of blocked sinks, missing soap, and lacking hand-drying instruments were remedied in the presence of a sanitarian during inspection, those infractions can prevent proper handwashing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, proper handwashing is a five-step process during which the use of soap and towel or air-drying hands are necessary. When soap and water aren’t available, the agency says, a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used, but sanitizers don’t get rid of all types of germs.

From Dec. 16 to Jan. 1, Philadelphia inspectors closed at least 29 facilities for various violations, some more than once.

Inspectors visit nearly 1,000 eateries and food retailers every two weeks. Each inspection is generally regarded as a snapshot in time, and not necessarily a reflection of day-to-day conditions. Most violations were corrected immediately in the presence of an inspector.

A list of eateries that were closed follows:

500 E. Westmoreland St.

27 violations, 6 serious

No soap observed at prep area hand sink; Dirty dishes observed in prep area hand sink; Expired Tropical Cheese observed in Deli Display Case; Slicer had an accumulation of food residue on the food contact surfaces and was not being taken apart, washed, rinsed and sanitized at least every 4 hours; Live water bug and live brown round bugs observed in basement; Observed unauthorized persons in prep area; Dead flies observed in hoagie wrapping paper area; Old mice feces observed on top of basement unused deep freezer; Personal hair brush observed on prep area spice rack.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 16.

1532 E. Wadsworth Ave.

10 violations, 4 serious

A food employee was observed touching ready to eat food with his bare hands; Beef and pork were held at 51-52 degrees F rather than 41 degrees F or below as required; Mouse feces observed on lower shelving and on floor perimeters; Freshly dead mouse observed on floor perimeter in basement; Floor cleaning was needed due to mouse feces and heavy grease accumulation.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 16.

175 W. Lehigh Ave.

14 violations, 3 serious

The handwash sink in the restroom area did not have single use towels, continuous towels, or air drying device; Potentially hazardous ready to eat food (cut melon), prepared in the food facility, located in the reach-in refrigeration unit, was not date marked; Single-use disposables observed not covered or properly stored to prevent contamination; Covered receptacle for sanitary napkins was not provided in a toilet room used by females; Cleaning needed in restroom to remove all forms of dirt, debris and unnecessary items observed all clustered up in the restroom during the inspection; Cleaning observed needed in the prep area underneath warewash sinks, storage areas and restroom area during the inspection.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 16.

405 S. 45th St.

11 violations, 2 serious

Fresh mouse droppings observed inside bakery case, along with food/pastries; Mouse droppings observed along floor perimeter, in prep area, along walls behind equipment; Drain flies observed throughout facility; Food employees observed not wearing or wearing ineffective hair restraints, such as nets, hats, or beard restraints; Single-use food utensils not properly inverted to avoid contamination.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 17.

3208 Red Lion Rd.

21 violations, 8 serious

The certified person did not have adequate knowledge of hot holding, cold holding, and reheating temperatures, reportable food-borne illnesses, or how to properly mix sanitizer solution; An open employee beverage can was observed in the food prep area; Employees were observed handling ready to eat foods with bare hands; Mouse droppings were observed in the front food prep and rear storage areas; Mouse droppings were observed on rear storage area shelves and pallets; Mouse droppings were observed on floor surfaces behind the front counter, behind lockers, and around pallets.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 17.

3878 Glendale St.

5 violations, 1 serious

No paper towels observed in restroom, no toilet tissue observed in restroom; Leak observed coming from ceiling of first floor, leak observed in basement; Ceiling tile falling from ceiling with water leakage at time of inspection.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 17.

261 S. 10th St.

11 violations, 3 serious

No handwash sink was available for consumers due to sewage leak in toilet room/storage area; Black residue observed on the interior of the ice machine bin on metal component, wall at the back of the machine and white cylinder at the top; Outer opening in the food facility did not protect against the entry of insects, rodents, and other animals; Sewage observed on the floor in the basement.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 18.

405 S. 45th St.

2 violations, 0 serious

Visible physical evidence of rodent/insect activity observed in the prep/kitchen area; Potential rodent harborage areas inside the food facility observed in the dining/prep area due to holes in floor perimeter.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 19.

1244 Snyder Ave.

11 violations, 5 serious

An employee’s open beverage container was observed in a food preparation area; The handwash sink in the food preparation area was blocked by wall and not accessible at all times for employee use; No soap or paper towels were available at handwashing sink; Mouse droppings observed in food preparation area and basement.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 19.

311 Church Ln.

13 violations, 5 serious

The handwash sink in the prep area was blocked by metal container and not accessible at all times for employee use; Observed fruits, vegetables and herbs in display case (plums, tomatoes, lettuce etc.) but food prep sink with indirect drain connection not provided; Slicer had an accumulation of food residue on the food contact surfaces and was not being washed, rinsed and sanitized at least every 4 hours; Mouse droppings observed under meat slicer.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 19.

9201 Old Bustleton Ave.

8 violations, 4 serious

The person in charge has no knowledge of food-borne illnesses that need to be reported to the Health Department; Chemicals were stored above or on the same shelf with food, equipment, and/or single service articles in the child care area.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 23.

1037 S. 9th St.

14 violations, 4 serious

Sewage leak observed in the basement, facility was aware and continued to operate; Mouse observed running by the three compartment sink and stairs to the basement. Mouse droppings observed in a crate under the three compartment sink; All entry points of the food facility were left open and did not protect against the entry of insects, rodents, and other animals; Raw wooden blocks in the deli case, used to elevated trays, observed covered in blood; Display case behind point of sale counter observed with dried blood; No waste receptacle observed inside of the employee restroom.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 23.

1031 S. 9th St.

6 violations, 3 serious

Soap was not available at the handwash sink in the food preparation area; Handsink for the deli counter was not easily accessible; No utility mop sink observed.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 23.

1825 Cottman Ave.

15 violations, 4 serious

The handwash sink in the warewashing area was blocked by bottles of chemicals and not accessible at all times for employee use and did not have soap or have single use towels, continuous towels, or air drying device; Cats observed running on top of bags of food in the retail area, on food equipment such as cutting board in the warewashing area and reach-in freezers in the retail area; An insect control fly device was located in rear area with potential to contaminate food, equipment, and/or utensils; Mouse droppings observed on shelves in the retail area; Bathroom was blocked by pallets of food and inaccessible.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 23.

7138 Ridge Ave.

20 violations, 7 serious

Food safety certified person was not aware of how to properly wash, rinse, and sanitize clean in place equipment (slicer); Food employee observed eating food in the food prep area; Food employees observed donning single use gloves without a prior hand wash; Gnawed heads of lettuce observed inside of the walk-in cooler; Mouse droppings observed on food contact surfaces throughout the food prep area — sheet pans, food container lids, boxes where produce was stored, and cooling racks; Food employees observed not wearing or wearing ineffective hair restraints, such as nets, hats, or beard restraints; Mouse droppings observed on clean linens in the storage closet; Mouse droppings observed on equipment, shelving, and countertop surfaces throughout the facility — shelving under front counter, rear dunnage rack shelving, shelving in the walk-in cooler, base of floor mixer, shelving where clean plates are stored, walk-in cooler floors, inside fryer cabinets, cardboard lining in walk-in cooler, countertop where register is located, and inside container where chemicals are stored; Employee personal hygiene products (baby oil) was stored above the slicer in the food prep area.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 23.

1759 N. 13th St.

8 violations, 4 serious

Hands could not be properly washed due to lack of hot water at the mobile food unit handwash sink at time of inspection; Cooked white rice, cabbages and fried plantains were measured at 108-122 degrees F rather than 135 degrees F or above as required; Food employees observed not wearing or wearing ineffective beard restraints; Grime and dirt observed on mobile food tow unit general floor.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 23.

13 violations, 9 serious

The person in charge did not demonstrate knowledge of minimum chicken cooking temperature; Food Employee could not follow proper handwashing procedure, due to lack of adequate warm water (hot water at 55 degrees later observed); Rice was prepared/cooked in a private home; Two containers of tzatziki sauce observed at 57 degrees F rather than 41 degrees F or below as required; Temperature measuring devices for ensuring proper temperatures of hot/cooked food were not available or readily accessible; Service window, side, and back windows were open without protective screens/barriers to prevent the entry of insects, rodents, and other animals.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 23.

4001 N. Reese St.

11 violations, 2 serious

The handwash sink in the restrooms area did not have single use towels, continuous towels, or air drying device; Potential rodent harborage areas inside the food facility observed in the basement area due to mice droppings; Food employees observed not wearing or wearing ineffective hair restraints, such as nets, hats, or beard restraints; Trash can with lid was not present in either male or female restrooms; Cleaning observed needed through out this establishment.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 23.

2779 Kensington Ave.

11 violations, 1 serious

Expired milk (12/23/19) was observed; Mouse droppings observed on shelving and along the floor perimeter in the rear area, gnawed packaging (diapers/sanitary napkins) in the rear; Severe leak was observed at the pipe under the handwash sink in the restroom; Cleaning was needed on shelving in the rear area due to residue and mouse droppings observed.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 24.

1649 S. 5th St.

22 violations, 8 serious

The food safety certified person washed their hands at the ware sink rather than the designated handwash sink; Handwash sink in the point of sale area, under the deli slicer, was blocked by cans and other miscellaneous items, and was not accessible at all times for employee use; Mice feces observed in box with pineapples; Slicer had an accumulation of food residue on the food contact surfaces and was not being washed, rinsed and sanitized at least every 4 hours; Mice feces observed on retail and storage shelves throughout the facility, including the cartons of chips; Live cat observed in the retail area of the facility; Litter box observed in the basement, and bowls of cat food observed in the rear storage room; Mice feces observed on non food contact surfaces such as shelves, cardboard boxes and crates; Objectionable odors originated from the refuse accumulated in the receptacle behind the rear door.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 26.

46 S. 4th St.

18 violations, 9 serious

A food employee was observed washing their hands at the 3-basin sink rather than the designated hand wash sink; Food (eggs) was held at 58 degrees F rather than 41 degrees F or below as required in the prep area; Potentially hazardous ready to eat food (cut melons), located in the retail area refrigeration unit, was not date marked with the date it was prepared; Open bait observed under the 3-basin sink (rodent bait shall be contained in a covered, tamper-resistant bait station); Employee personal items (lotions, lint roller, cellphone) stored in prep area, and were not stored to prevent the contamination of food, equipment or utensils; Mouse droppings observed under 3-basin sink; Mouse droppings observed under 3-basin sink.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 26.

7610 Ogontz Ave.

11 violations, 3 serious

Paper towel dispenser empty at the handwash sink in the kitchen area; Observed pink slime on the bar soda gun holder and nozzle located to the right of the handwashing sink at the bar; Visible physical evidence of rodent (mouse) activity observed on the floor perimeter in the kitchen area; Soda gun holsters were not properly indirectly drained; drain lines not provided; No lidded receptacle observed in the women's toilet room.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 26.

1252 N. 53rd St.

12 violations, 2 serious

Soap was not available at the handwash sink in the restroom area, paper towel dispenser empty at the handwash sink in the restroom area; Opened commercially processed ready to eat food (deli meat) located in the closed deli display case, and held more than 48 hours, was not marked with the date it was opened; No hot water observed at handwash sink in food prep area; Food establishment observed in operation without a valid food license.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 26.

3259 Rorer St.

15 violations, 4 serious

The food facility did not have a handwash sink conveniently located in the warewashing area/restroom; Soap was not available at the handwash sink in the prep area behind the counter; Visible evidence of rodent contaminated foods observed in the retail area: gnawed food observed (cookies, crackers), mouse droppings in food boxes (fruits and vegetables); Opened commercially processed ready to eat food, located in the deli case, and held more than 48 hours, was not marked with the date it was opened; Floor cleaning was needed on shelves in the retail area and under/around equipment in several areas due to clutter, dust, mouse droppings, and residue observed (retail area, basement storage area).

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 26.

7138 Ridge Ave.

12 violations, 3 serious

Gnawed heads of lettuce observed inside of the walk-in cooler; Mouse droppings observed on food contact surfaces throughout the food prep area — cardboard box lid where produce (tomatoes) was stored; Live mouse observed in the ware wash area; Employee personal hygiene products (baby oil) was stored above the slicer in the food prep area.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 27.

125 Sansom Walk

26 violations, 4 serious

Paper towel dispenser was empty at the handwash sink in the men’s restroom; Slicer had an accumulation of food residue on the food contact surfaces; Observed an insecticide (Raid Flying Insect) not labeled by the manufacturer for food facility usage, in the beverage preparation area; Visible physical evidence of rodent activity (mouse feces) observed in the warewash area; Unused clutter and debris observed in the outdoor trash area; Observed employees’ personal clothing stored with food items in the dry storage area.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 27.

4704 Baltimore Ave.

5 violations, 2 serious

Soap was not available at the handwash sink in the rear prep/kitchen area; Visible physical evidence of rodent / insect activity observed in the bar area. Fresh mouse droppings observed along floor perimeter in kitchen/behind stove.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 27.

4423 Locust St.

23 violations, 9 serious

An open employee’s beverage container was observed in a food preparation area; Food Employee did not follow proper handwashing procedure. Soap and/or warm water not used; Paper towel dispenser empty at the handwash sink in the prep area; Food observed stored inside of plastic shopping bags; Chicken and eggrolls were held at 60 degrees F rather than 41 degrees F or below as required; Visible physical evidence of rodent / insect activity observed in several areas; bottom of steam table, bottom of prep tables, on small table where rice cooker was, on racks and shelves in rear dry storage area; Food employees observed not wearing or wearing ineffective hair restraints, such as nets, hats, or beard restraints.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 28.

2135 N. 63rd St.

17 violations, 6 serious

An employee’s open beverage container was observed in a food preparation area; The handwash sink in the food prep area was blocked by bottle of chemical and not accessible at all times for employee use; Soap was not available at the handwash sink in the food prep area; Food (fish) observed uncovered inside of walk-in cooler; Chemicals and mouse bait were stored above or on the same shelf with food, equipment, and/or single service articles in the food prep area; Visible physical evidence of rodent activity observed in the food prep area. Mouse droppings were observed on shelves, cans, and boxes; All compartments of warewash sinks observed obstructed by soiled dishes at time of inspection; Water observed coming up from floor drain when handwash sink was in use at time of inspection.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 28.

125 Sansom Walk

6 violations, 2 serious

Interior surface of the 3-basin sink was not clean to sight and touch; Chemicals (2 bottles of bleach & propane tank) were stored above or on the same shelf with food, equipment, and/or single service articles in the dry storage area near the ice machine; Sanitarian observed live roaches harboring in open seam of 2-door reach in refrigerator across from the hot water tank in kitchen. area; Live roach of observed crawling on exterior rice cooker in the kitchen area.

The establishment was issued a Cease Operations Order and was required to discontinue food operations immediately. The establishment could not operate for a minimum of 48 hours. Inspected Dec. 28.

111 S. Independence E. Mall Spc. 19B

3 violations, 1 serious

No Food Safety Certified Person present at the time of inspection; Slushie machine inner surfaces were in need of cleaning; General floor cleaning was needed along floor perimeters.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 31.

1322 Chestnut St.

2 violations, 1 serious

Establishment lacked hot water. Peak hot water temperature was observed at 48 degrees F.

The establishment agreed to discontinue food operations and voluntarily close until it is approved by the Department to resume operations. Inspected Dec. 31.