CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An uptown Charlotte restaurant that was shut down months ago after a failed heath inspection has since reopened under a new name.
Channel 9 learned it was dinged again for similar unsanitary health violations.
Health officials found dead cockroaches inside the Pudina Restaurant, which was formerly named Pho Plus.
"I don't know why it opened still, to be honest,” said Yami Hernandez, who works in the food industry and said he has eaten at Pho before.
The health department inspected Pudina Restaurant on Wednesday and found 54 health code violations.
Channel 9 had people read some of the violations themselves.
"Fruit flies in bags of onions and around onions,” Hernandez said.
“Single service articles stored in cardboard box that originally had raw chicken in it,” David Kichuk said. "Cockroaches behind prepping stations? No, that's not allowed."
Nineteen items on the list were repeat offenses, including employees not washing their hands, food debris on equipment that had not even been used that day and perishable items stored above recommended temperatures.
"That's just so gross,” Hernandez said.
Ten of the violations are considered critical, including finding raw beef stored over cooked beef and food labels with inaccurate times of freshness.
"I just can't imagine working at a place that would even tolerate that,” Hernandez said.
"I’d say half of those were more than enough to shut it down,” Kichuk said.
The health department shut down Pho Plus over the summer after inspectors found 53 violations.
A month later, Pudina' opened in its place, a new restaurant with a new name and new management, even though the old signs are still visible.
“Ii would definitely not want to eat there,” Kichuk said.
Channel 9 reporter Stephanie Tinoco asked employees about the report.
”Do you know when you will reopen?” Tinoco asked.
An employee said they were closed early just for the holiday and gave a number for the owner to answer questions, but no one responded.
"I work in the food industry, so I know how clean kitchens need to be, so that's just unacceptable,” Hernandez said.
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