DIRTY DINING: Two Contra Costa County Restaurants Back Open After Health Inspectors Find Rodent Droppings

January 22, 2018 8:00 am · 19 comments

Two Contra Costa County restaurants were closed last week, but have since reopened after health inspectors found rodent droppings at both locations.

The first one was Subway, located at 1572 Palos Verde Mall in Walnut Creek.

The violations include:

  • MAJOR violation – Food contact surfaces: clean and sanitized
  • Minor violation – Sewage and wastewater properly disposed
  • MAJOR violation – Proper hot and cold holding temperatures
  • Minor violation – Floors, walls and ceiling: built, maintained and clean
  • MAJOR violation – No insects, rodents, birds or animals present

And in Danville, Stella’s Ristorante, located at 3451 Blackhawk Plaza Circle, was also closed.

Stella’s had a lengthy list of violations:

  • Minor violation – Adequate hand washing facilities: supplied and accessible
  • Minor violation – Ware wash facilities: installed, maintained, used; test strips
  • MAJOR violation – Proper hot and cold holding temperatures
  • MAJOR violation – No insects, rodents, birds or animals present
  • Minor violation – Permit available
  • MAJOR violation – Food contact surfaces: clean and sanitized
  • Minor violation – Equipment, utensils and linens: storage and use
  • Minor violation – Food storage; food storage containers identified
  • Minor violation – Food safety certification and food handler cards: valid, available for review
  • Minor violation – Adequate ventilation and lighting; designated areas, use
  • Minor violation – Equipment/utensils-approved; installed; clean; good repair; capacity (e.g. sinks, CO2tanks, etc)
  • Minor violation – Signs posted; last inspection report available
  • Minor violation – Floors, walls and ceiling: built, maintained and clean
  • Minor violation – Wiping cloths; properly used and stored
  • MAJOR violation – Demonstration of knowledge
  • Minor violation – Proper reheating procedures for hot holding
  • Minor violation – Nonfood contact surfaces clean


Dracnoc January 22, 2018 at 8:32 AM

How dose a business owner screw up a subway? its a turn key operation. My only guess is negligence is to blame.

Pyrrhus January 22, 2018 at 10:33 AM

If I had to guess, it’s a combination of a owner not being involved in the operation and manager’s and employees not caring due to no pressure from the owner. This is why we should be supporting businesses that pay a living wage and care about the quality of their food. Sure, we won’t be getting a $5 sandwich, but at least we know we aren’t eating rat droppings and it tastes better than a piece of cardboard.

TIFOKCIS January 22, 2018 at 1:25 PM

Raising the minimum wage makes food taste better?

Raising the minimum wage keeps rat away?

Raising the minimum is the answer to everything.

TIFOKCIS January 22, 2018 at 3:46 PM

Pay employees more ……. so they’ll do the job they applied for, got hired to do.

Is that right Pyrrhus?

Hobo January 22, 2018 at 9:50 AM

So according to what’s written it says no infestation but we are to believe the opposite?

CLAYCORD.com January 22, 2018 at 9:55 AM

The way the health dept. writes it is a little confusing, but yes, if it says ‘MAJOR violation – No insects, rodents, birds or animals present’, that means they found evidence of insects, rodents or birds.

Anne Noise January 22, 2018 at 10:54 AM

They are listing the code violated, not the violation.

Potato Head January 22, 2018 at 10:11 AM

Did they reopen BECAUSE the inspectors found rat droppings? The headline is a bit confusing.

Dorothy January 22, 2018 at 10:29 AM

More places not to go to. Hope there are no eateries also next to these places.

Be kind January 22, 2018 at 11:38 AM

I remember Fresh Choice, in Walnut Creek, as I was eating my salad, the workers were trying to catch this big fat rat on the floor out in the dining room without people noticing them! I am sorry but this was hilarious. One man saw that and was furious and balled them out big time. I must be weird because I just kept eating my salad as I had all that free entertainment. Actually I never ate there again because I started thinking about that.

mohairs January 22, 2018 at 11:42 AM

Wonder if Danville and Walnut Creek rats are in any way “better” than the Concord rats? 🙂

Silva January 22, 2018 at 12:16 PM

Last time I checked, Concord rats were still the roof rat variety. They’re a lot smaller and prettier than Norway rats.

elviss January 22, 2018 at 12:41 PM

Those “roof rats” are somebody’s escaped pets that went rogue and multiplied. They are better looking that your run-of-the-mill rat and they have been around, that I know of, since the ’70s. Prior to that, Norwegian rats were common in the area because of the prevalence of Walnut orchards … but not at restaurants.

Kentucky Derby January 22, 2018 at 11:55 AM

If you keep the place clean, and everything up to code – you stay open. If not, they shut you down., and you won’t make any money.

I think I get it.

elviss January 22, 2018 at 12:45 PM

The secret of keeping them out of interior spaces is to fill all the holes where they may possibly make entry. There is a foam available to do that, however, steel wool is recommended, as well, because a determined rat will chew through the foam. It’s surprising the entry they can make in any building. Usually the area where water piping enters the interior has gaps, and sometimes in the area where cabinetry meets the wall or floor, small areas are available for entry.

Sign from Above January 22, 2018 at 12:55 PM

Tastes Like Chicken!

Fritzhugh Ludlow January 22, 2018 at 4:31 PM

If all restaurants were required to keep a Jack Russell Terrier on the premises, the Rat problem could soon be solved.

Concord Guy January 23, 2018 at 9:13 AM

Stella Blue…

rich January 26, 2018 at 11:15 AM

With the number of places that get closed for health reasons, I am wondering if these food serving places are required to have HOT water for customers and employees to wash their hands?

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