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Mold and mushrooms found growing in a Smoothie King

A Smoothie King, located in Miami Lakes, had way too many flies to count. In addition to the pests, a “mold-like substance and growth of mushroom organism,” was also found in the property. These findings are according to an inspection performed by the Flordia Department of Agriculture.

The Smoothie King, which is located at 15366 NW 79Th Court, has a large sign hanging on the door that alerts the public that the location is closed to re-train employees and to paint and upgrade equipment. However, under the covering, a red sign was hidden that reads, “Stop Use Order”, which was mistakenly marked as a “Stop Sale Order”, an order that is placed on food. The signs were placed on processing areas and equipment after the Department of Agriculture’s inspection.

While the Department of Agriculture can’t shut down the location for failing an inspection, Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation inspectors can shut down restaurants. They can also drop enough “Stop Use Orders” to make opening establishments pointless.

According to State of Florida listings, the Smoothie King franchise is owned by Related Group Miami Lakes, LLC. The company was established in 2012 by Fausto Fajardo. The Smoothie King opened for operation in 2013. In 2017, the establishment failed an inspection, but it had passed three scheduled inspections, as well as 11 focused inspections (inspections that deal with a complaint or a potential issue.)

However, when Jose Pavon, an inspector, recently stopped by the Smoothie King, what he found was alarming. He noted that he observed a heavily solid mold-like reside on the blenders and lids, that he saw a mold-like residue on the inside walls and the cute of an ice machine, that there was a large amount of flying insects, and that there were extremely unsanitary conditions throughout the property. He even noted that there was a mold-like substance and mushroom organisms growing under the counters above the blender and ice bin prep table.

Smoothie King’s corporate office commented on the conditions found at the franchise. It said, “Maintaining a clean and health operation is a foundational priority inside our stores, and we take these violations incredibly seriously. Since the inspection, we have worked closely with the owner to effectively and completely remediate each violation to restore the healthy and safe in-store environment for our guests.” The statement issued by the corporate office also said, “We have appealed for an immediate re-inspection and expect to reopen shortly after.”

The issues at the Miami Lakes’ Smoothie King, which is located in a strip mall on Northwest 154th Street, are alarming. Anyone who has recently purchased beverages or other items from the facility could potentially face health problems.

Mold Inspection & Testing Miami is a highly reputable mold testing company that has performed countless mold assessments in the Miami area. We strongly urge the Smoothie King franchise to arrange for regular mold testing upon reopening to ensure the safety of their patrons and employees, as well as to ensure that they are in compliance with all healthy and safety regulations. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 305.999.5131.