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Latest Philly restaurant inspections net 10 serious health hazards

The Philadelphia Department of Health inspected nearly 500 restaurants, delis and other eateries between Nov. 9 and Nov. 21. During that period there were surprisingly few offenders that were temporarily shuttered. Only 10 were declared "imminent health hazards."

Tarka, the Indo-Asian restaurant in University City, struggled with three failing inspections before it was allowed to reopen Nov. 16. A stubborn smattering of roaches and the repeated discovery of mouse droppings kept it closed for more than a week.

"We've changed a lot of stuff," said Tarka's manager Sultan Bhuiyan. "We have a new floor, new carpet , we hired new people and had a big cleaning. Everything is new. We are trying to change."

Chris' Pizza, in West Philadelphia, tallied the greatest number of itemized infractions. The Haverford Avenue pizzeria collected 32 violations but none was deemed serious enough for the health department to ask the restaurant to close.

Each eatery inspection is generally regarded as a "snapshot in time," and not necessarily a reflection of day-to-day conditions. Most violations were fixed immediately on site.

Included with each listing is an edited selection of infractions noted by health department sanitarians. Click on the restaurant's name to see the detailed report.

If you suspect you've contracted food poisoning or have a sanitation complaint, contact the health department at 215-685-7495.

To look up reports on a specific restaurant, or read more in the Inquirer's Clean Plates series, visit

ReAnimator Cafe

Turner Grocery Store

2454 TURNER ST 19121

8 violations, 4 serious.

No hot water; no soap at sink; chicken thawing in still water; mouse feces in food prep area and cat feces in basement. Asked to close temporarily on Nov. 21.

Wharton Deli

Xin Le Yuan Restaurant

2718 CECIL B. MOORE AVE 19121

Da Way Family Kitchen 2/ V08113

219 E LEHIGH AVE 19140

1 violation, 1 serious.

No hot water; no food safety certified employee present. Previously asked to close Jul. 18, 2016. Asked again to close temporarily on Nov. 15.


1256 S 15TH ST 19146

1 violation, 1 serious.

No food safety certified person present. Asked to close temporarily on Nov. 15. Cleared to reopen Nov. 16.

Tarka Resturant

3801 CHESTNUT ST 19104

Roaches in food prep room. Ordered to close for a minimum of 48 hours on Nov. 7, Nov. 10 and Nov. 14.  Permitted to reopen Nov. 16.

P & B Breakfast

6003 N 5TH ST 19120

Severe roach infestation; roaches on food contact surfaces, take out containers, in napkin box and inside box containing food; roach feces and eggs on shelves; food not protected from contamination; empty paper towel dispenser; no warm water. Ordered to close for minimum of 48 hours Nov. 14. Permitted to reopen Nov. 16.

Salad Works

7 violations, 2 serious.

Tarka Resturant

3801 CHESTNUT ST 19104

No hot water at handwash sink; mouse droppings throughout establishment; drain flies; roaches in food prep area; floors need cleaning throughout. Ordered to close for a minimum of 48 hours on Nov. 7 and on Nov. 10.

Hot Dog Cart / #V00807

4 S 15TH ST 19102
12 violations, 9 serious. 
Food safety certified person not present; person in charge didn't know Pa. Food Code; employee did not wash hands between changing tasks; employee touched food with bare hands; no soap, towels or cold water at sink; brownish water pours from spigot; interiors of cold holding units "very dirty with thick layers of what appears to be algae." Asked to close temporarily on Nov. 9.

Permitted to reopen: Tsigos, Wanda / Hot Dog Cart , 4 S. 15th St. 19102; Family Dollar Store #8623, 5716 Baltimore Ave. 19143; Cafe Square One, 50 S. 3rd St. 19106.

 Contact Sam Wood at 215-854-2796, or @samwoodiii