Kitchens infested with mice, rats, cockroaches, and flies. Sewage on the floor and restaurant workers who don't wash their hands. Persistent filth and vermin-gnawed food. Those were just a few of the stomach-curdling conditions that temporarily shut down Philadelphia eateries over the past 12 months.
The health department slapped its bright yellow cease-and-desist orders on the front doors of over 400 businesses in 2016, shaming corner delis, fast-food chains (Checkers, McDonald's) and even a Center City haunt of the rich-and-powerful (McCormick and Schmick's).
Most reopened within 24 hours, resolving to do better. But a significant number of "frequent flyers" were shuttered for several days after failing multiple inspections.
Rodents forced the closure of 60 restaurants and grocers; a lack of hot water shut another 140. The absence of a food-safety certified person, someone trained in the basics of the city health code, stuck a fork into more than 200. Other violations weren't considered serious enough to close a business (lack of hair restraints, food held at unsafe temperatures), but might give a diner cause for concern.
In the map below, we've made it easy to check for dining trouble spots. A fork marks the spot for each offender; click on it to call up details.