The restaurants closed down the most for severe safety violations

ORLANDO, Fla. — Roaches and rodents crawling where someone is preparing your food is not what you want to see. But that’s what state inspectors are finding in some Central Florida restaurants.


Earlier this month, Action 9 broke down numbers over the past two years and highlighted the restaurants with some of the worst food safety and sanitation records in all of Central Florida. Now, we’re looking at some of the restaurants with violations so severe they were forced to temporarily close.

When the Action 9 team showed up at N Y Giant Pizza in Orange County, consumer investigator Jeff Deal asked, “What do you think about being one of the top offenders in all of central Florida?”

A manager responded, “I don’t know what to say about it.”

The Action 9 team analyzed the food safety and sanitation violations the restaurant had racked up over the past two years and found it made our list of worst offenders.

SEE: Restaurant violations: Action 9 reveals the top offenders

In Florida, state inspectors rank violations in three categories basic, intermediate, and high priority.

“You want the public to be able to trust that when they go out to a restaurant they’re not going to get sick,” said Dr. Kevin Murphy from UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

Murphy is a food safety expert who used to manage and own restaurants before he joined UCF. He noted that some high priority violations can be an immediate concern for public safety.

“So, roaches and pests leave behind droppings and bacteria, and they can often be a cause for shutting down a restaurant immediately,” he said.

Read: Restaurant violations: Action 9 reveals the top offenders

After searching through more than 60,000 state records to find the worst violators the Action 9 team also found some restaurants had violations so dangerous they had to be shut down.

N Y Giant Pizza was ordered temporarily closed once over the past two years for having a dead flying insect on cooked chicken and live roaches by the cookline.

But many other central Florida restaurants were ordered to close multiple times. Mr. Quick on West Colonial Drive in Orlando was one of them. Inspectors forced it to temporarily close three times in 2023.

Jeff Deal asked a manager, “Did you guys have problems with rodents?”

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The manager replied, “That’s what it was. Just once… a coupe of times.”

Deal responded, “Yes, three times last year.”

The manager questioned, “Really?”

Then there’s Mee Thai on Lee Road in Orange County. It had to be closed down four times in the past two years.

Again, roaches and rodents were the problem. One inspection showed live roaches inside a pot in the cook’s line. In online reviews, customers even posted photos of what they claim were roaches found in their food.

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Deal spoke to the owner Pranee Perry about it saying, “Four times is a lot.”

Perry replied, “Yeah, four times is a lot. Of course, it’s not only my fault. The company (pest control company) too.”

Perry claimed they have since hired a new pest control company and things are better in the kitchen now.

She said, “So, everything is past. Everything is good. Everything is thumbs up for myself, OK?”

In state records, we found only Little Italy off U.S. 192 in Kissimmee had more temporary closures in Central Florida. Inspectors ordered it shut down five times in the past two years.

Deal asked a worker at the front counter, “Have you had a lot of problems with roaches and rodents and things like that?”

The worker responded, “I think we did have some, but I don’t know really.” A follow-up phone call asking for the manager or owner of Little Italy was not returned.

Inspections showed rodent droppings on the pizza boxes in December of 2022. Around that same time a customer posted a photo of rat in their online review, claiming it was taken inside Little Italy.

Some of the shutdowns lasted more than one day, but the restaurants were all back open when Action 9 stopped by to check on them.

The manager at Mr. Quick also said they are remodeling and that things should be even better after that.

Click here to check restaurant inspections or closures.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

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