Miami: Food Truck Leaves Before Health Inspection is Complete

By Linda Trischitta |

Dona Arepa food truck, 7795 W. Flagler, Miami was found to be operating without a license on Oct. 11 near the Mall of the Americas, west of the Palmetto Expressway.

The truck left before completing the inspection, said Beth Frady, a spokeswoman with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

“If your readers have any tips as to their location, we would like to know as we would like to serve them the notice to close,” Frady said.

She said tipsters can contact the department two ways: by calling 850-487-1395 or by submitting a complaint online:

Before the truck left, the inspector observed: a hand sink was missing in the food preparation area; an employee prepared food, handled clean equipment or touched unwrapped single-service items without washing hands; there were no cold holding units to maintain a potentially hazardous box of frozen arepas that was at room temperature; no food thermometer was provided; a wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution between uses;  no plan review was submitted to the state or approved for the mobile unit prior to its opening to the general public; the manager lacked proof of food manager certification; no proof of required employee training was provided; no waste water tank was available; there was no potable water storage tank available at the mobile unit and no 3-compartment sink was provided.

Similarly named Miami food businesses – Don Toston & Dona Arepa, at 8349 W. Flagler Street, and Dona Arepa Catering at 3751 S.W. 136 CT.,  – both said they were not connected to the food truck.

The Crime & Safety blog reports on inspections of South Florida dining spots each week as the state pursues its goal to review Florida’s 45,000 licensed restaurants twice each year.

You can check out a restaurant on our searchable databases that have information provided by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

For restaurants between Palm Beach County and Key West, bookmark this link:,0,4135058.htmlstory

For Central Florida/Orlando restaurants check here:

A state spokeswoman has said it is not the number of critical violations that will cause a restaurant to be temporarily shut down, but rather the nature of what an inspector finds that merits closing a business.

After a restaurant is shuttered, an inspector typically visits again within 24 hours and continues to visit until violations are resolved and the business can reopen. Repeat critical violations can lead to fines of $500 to $1,000 per instance in a future administrative complaint levied by the state.

If a bad dining experience makes you feel ill, it’s easy to complain to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation by calling 850-487-1395 or by filing a report online at

But beware: this isn’t the place for personal vendettas. False reports can lead to misdemeanor charges.

And if you haven’t checked out a bistro’s inspection history online before making a reservation, state law requires restaurants to provide customers with a copy.