NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The popular Sunburnt Cow Australian brunch restaurant and bar in the East Village was shut down by the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene late last week.

The department website said the restaurant, at 137 Avenue C, racked up 56 violation points, and three critical violations, at an inspection this past Friday.

Inspectors found evidence of contaminated food, rats, food services not properly washed, according to the department. The restaurant also incurred non-critical violations, including operating a non-vermin-proof facility and failing to maintain the restrooms properly.

In a DNAInfo report, restaurant owner Heathe St. Clair blamed problems stemming from Superstorm Sandy for the violations. The basement, which flooded during the superstorm, was the site of most of the violations, the publication reported.

The Sunburnt Cow previously had been shut down by Con Edison for a month due to safety concerns, but reopened in February, the publication reported.

And back in December 2011, the restaurant was shut down after an NYPD raid allegedly uncovered criminal sale and possession of drugs, according to published reports. In a statement published by the website Gothamist at the time, owners the Moo Life Group said they did not endorse any such criminal activity and had no knowledge of it.

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