Fort Myers flea market vendors shut down for roaches, rodents

Posted at 6:45 PM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 06:57:59-04

FORT MYERS, Fla., - A recent health inspection sweep forced two Ortiz Avenue Flea Market vendors to close down after the vendors were busted for numerous high priority violations.

A health inspector found 8 high priority violations and 7 less urgent violations during a routine inspection at Tortas San Angel.

The violations include roaches on the kitchen floor, operating without a license and, "employees touching ready-to-eat food with their bare hands."

The inspectors also cited the sandwich joint after finding 27 rodent droppings and because, "raw animal food was stored in the same container as read-to-eat food."

The vendor is one of dozens at the popular flea market.

People who go to the flea market on the weekends say the inspection reports don't represent what the market is about.

"I buy blue crabs here, I buy shrimp here. There are a ton of people that come here every weekend," said Frank Smith, a Fort Myers resident.

Smith has been going to the flea market for 26 years and says the violations won't keep him from going back.

"I'm not being served the roaches. I'm sure the roaches are not in the refrigerator. I'm sure it's not in the utensils either. I'm sure the people have more pride in their work than that," Smith said.

Tortas San Angel was not the only vendor to face disciplinary action during the health inspection sweep on Saturday.

An inspector also cited Bony trenchant Enterprises Inc, a mobile food vendor, for a slew of violations. Some include operating with an expired license, observed insects, rodents or other pests, and temperature-sensative food held warmer than recommended.

"If there are circumstances where people are getting food poisoning, then there is an issue," Smith said. "Everything is served right in front of you. Everything is made right in front of you so there's nothing that's done out of the ordinary," Smith added.

The flea market vendors could not be reached for comment. A manager of the Ortiz Avenue Flea Market declined to comment Wednesday.