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Miami's Restaurants Have a Massive Cockroach Problem

More than 41 Miami restaurants have been cited for roach infestations in the past month alone.

Alex Swerdloff

The Magic City. Little Cuba. M.I. Yayo. 305. Cruise Capital of the World. Cocaine Capital. Gateway of the Americas.

Miami is a city of many nicknames, but it seems like it might just wanted to add Roachville to the list of monikers. That's because the city—which has long been home to numerous roach-related issues—has had to shutter or write up a staggering number of restaurants recently for health safety violations relating to roach infestations. 

To be fair, it would be extremely hard to find a major city that doesn't deal with the omnipresent threat of cockroaches or other bugs, but Miami has the distinct pleasure of having what appears to be next-level roach problems. 

Out of the 41 Miami-Dade restaurants cited by city officials in the past month, the Miami Herald reports that eight received emergency shutdown orders. This most recent wave of citations and closings comes shortly after 31 Miami restaurants were cited for roaches back in the end of January.

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Among the cited businesses, Ventura Restaurant appears to have had the most roaches, with inspectors finding "approximately 100 live roaches walking on plates stored on shelve [sic] by three-compartment sink in the kitchen area." 

And here's a bit of advice: If you see a can of Raid anywhere in a restaurant you're planning to eat at, think twice. One restaurant—Astrid & Stephanie in Miami Beach—kept the can of Raid right above the sugar in the food storage area. An inspector found "approximately 25-30 live roaches… underneath counters at coffee station and prep area at the front of the establishment." Household Raid is not permitted for use in restaurants. 

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Several catering companies have been cited or shutdown as part of the recent crackdown, including Catering to Kids, which was shut down on February 17 after inspectors found "approximately 35 live roaches… in the kitchen on the floor, underneath the three compartment sink, inside an oven and behind a food prep table on the wall." Even after the forced shutdown, inspectors continued to find roach activity during three separate follow ups visits.

As a side note, Catering to Kids isn't the only kid-centric catering company to recently face a great deal of health safety scrutiny. Back in November, the Florida Department of Health reported that 149 children became severely sick after eating ham and turkey prepared by Healthy Children Catering. 

To what can we attribute the exorbitant number of cucarachas found in Miami restaurants? Is it the sub-tropical climate, or the fact that Miami is filled with establishments serving tourists, who are here today and gone tomorrow? 

Who knows? All we can say is what Will Smith says: "Bienvenidos a Miami."