Inspectors Find Evidence Of Mice, Department Records Show

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The S’MAC gourmet macaroni and cheese restaurant in the East Village has been ordered closed by city health inspectors, who reported finding evidence of mice and other problems.

The restaurant at 345 E. 12th St. was ordered closed by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on Monday, after inspectors found five critical violations.

In addition evidence of a mouse infestation, the violations included a cold food item being held at temperatures over 41 degrees, the lack of a proper thermometer to monitor temperatures of potentially hazardous foods, insufficient equipment to keep hazardous foods at required temperatures, and failure to protect food from a potential source of contamination, according to the department website.

The restaurant website said the East Village S’MAC location was “temporarily closed.” Calls to the two numbers listed for the restaurant went unanswered Wednesday evening.

In a DNAInfo report, owner Sarita Ekya said the restaurant was closed because its walk-in refrigerator failed just before inspectors arrived. Ekya also told the publication that there was an opening in the wall of an employee locker room where an inspector said vermin could get in, but there were no issues otherwise with mice or vermin.

The restaurant plans to reopen sometime next week, Ekya told the publication.

The restaurant was also closed in May 2013, after inspectors found evidence of mice, dirty wiping cloths, and inadequate toilet maintenance, the publication reported.

S’MAC, short for Sarita’s Macaroni and Cheese, opened the East Village location in June 2006.

The restaurant offers an assortment of takes on macaroni and cheese – from the traditional “All-American” variety to a Mediterranean version with goat cheese, spinach, garlic and Kalamata olives; and a “Parisienne” version with brie, roasted figs, rosemary and shiitake mushrooms.

The restaurant also operates a location in Murray Hill, at 157 E. 33rd St. A third location at First Avenue and Houston Street has closed.

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