Patrons of the Versailles Restaurant said they were surprised to learn Monday that the Cuban landmark in Little Havana was recently cited for 52 food safety violations during a routine inspection.
The violations were found Jan. 21, according to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Three of those were deemed a high-priority risk, like food being stored at the wrong temperatures, while other violations dealt with food-encrusted surfaces, dirty cleaning cloths and mold, according to the DBPR.
When tourist and patron Lee Feng was informed that a black-green mold-like substance had accumulated inside the ice machine, he laughed and said that was “horrible.”
“But it looks very nice outside,” Feng said.
Nicolas Christodoulou said he comes to Versailles from Broward about every two months because he likes the food.
“I'm a little bit disappointed,” he said of the violations.
After the food safety violations were found, inspectors returned to the restaurant 24 hours later. Inspectors said the restaurant addressed the major issues right away, but when they returned to Versailles they found 20 lower-level violations, like grease accumulated on the kitchen floor and plumbing that was installed improperly.
“For more than four decades, the health and well-being of our customers has always been a priority for our restaurant. The recent violations are uncharacteristic and were due to ongoing improvements in kitchen operations,” Versailles Restaurant said in a statement. “We were notified of these and have addressed them immediately. Our family is committed to continuing to provide quality food and great dining experience to our customers.”
Versailles is one of the only restaurants that has an in-house environmental health practitioner who does routine inspections, owner Felipe Valls said in a separate statement. That ensures that Versailles keeps to the highest sanitation practices and state standards, he said.