Chicago restaurant report card: Health department finds violations like rodent droppings, roaches

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone and Maggie Green WLS logo
Friday, October 13, 2023
Health dept. finds violations at restaurants around the city
The I-Team looked into restaurants in violation of the City of Chicago's health codes and found roaches, rat droppings and unsafe food temperatures.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Before you dine out, listen up. The I-Team looked into restaurants in violation of the City of Chicago's health codes and found roaches, rat droppings and unsafe food temperatures.

Chicago area restaurants receive an annual inspection from the Chicago Department of Public Health. The ABC7 Data Team combed through recent health inspection reports for Chicago area restaurants. We found some of the most concerning violations in recent months.

At Lost Larson Bakery in Andersonville, health inspectors said that they saw a black and pink slimy substance buildup in the ice machine, and 30 mouse droppings. In the August report, Inspectors also noted expired food in coolers.

In an email, Lost Larson told the I-Team that "health and wellness of our community is paramount." The bakery said issues were rectified immediately adding, "We had our pest control company re-service the bakery and had the ice machine professionally deep cleaned and sanitized. The health inspector returned that same week and we passed our most recent inspection."

The I-Team confirmed that latest inspection passed.

Taste of Canton in McKinley Park also had some concerning violations, including live roaches and 250 mouse droppings. Inspectors also found beef, chicken, and duck stored at temperatures ranging from 50 to 103 degrees instead of the cold holding temperature of 41 degrees.

When we stopped by, the owner told me that issues have been solved and they passed their latest inspection report. The owner then sent pictures of his kitchen and the following statement: "At Taste of Canton, we follow the CDPH food preparation guidelines to ensure that we prepare our food to the highest quality standards for our customers."

And inside the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Streeterville, LB Bistro &Patisserie also had a failing grade.

In a late, August Inspectors reported pink and yellow buildup inside the ice machine and a large, dead rat was found inside of a food storage closet attached to the kitchen, plus six live roaches were crawling around kitchen equipment and walls.

Inspectors said they even saw a live bird flying around the dishwashing room, and 60 rodent droppings throughout the restaurant.

In an email a hotel manager said, "Our hotel has strict food handling policies and procedures that either meet or exceed Public Health Department regulations. We work with Chicago Public Health officials on an ongoing basis, and value their partnership."

The hotel manager said issues were promptly corrected. LB Bistro and Patisserie at the Sheraton passed its follow-up inspection report.

The manager added that safety is a top priority and that they're taking this opportunity to refresh training.