Roaches at restaurants, mice in school kitchen among October food safety violations

Cockroaches, a dead fruit fly in a liquor bottle and mice “big and small” scampering around a Wichita elementary school kitchen are among food safety and lodging violations spotted by inspectors in Sedgwick County last month.

Inspectors saw at least four roaches in El Fogon, 1555 S. Bluffview; 10 at Lee’s Chinese Restaurant, 6215 W. Kellogg; three crawling around at N&J Cafe, 5600 E. Lincoln; two at Emerson Biggins, 2330 N. Maize; and one brown critter that looked like a roach along a kitchen wall at Tuta’s Teriyaki, 929 N. Broadway, according to October violation reports posted on the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s website.

Most told inspectors they had pest control companies treating their buildings. One inspector talked to Tuta’s Teriyaki about getting regular pest control, according to its inspection report.

At Chico’s Restaurant, 4407 W. Maple, an employee had to throw out a bottle of amaretto kept at its bar because an inspector saw a dead fruit fly in it.

Staff at Irving Elementary School, 1642 N. Market, reporting seeing mice “big and small” throughout the building after an inspector noticed one running in the cafeteria. They also said they have to sweep mouse droppings off of the kitchen floor every morning. There weren’t any notes about how the school was combating the problem in the inspection report.

The restaurants and school are among 35 Sedgwick County food establishments that process, serve or sell food, and businesses that charge for sleeping accommodations (like hotels and motels) that were out of compliance when inspected in October, according to the state Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for food safety and lodging inspections.

Inspection results are public record. The Wichita Eagle curates a searchable database of non-compliant inspections that come out of Sedgwick County each month. You can search it using keywords like roach or mold or bedbug, or by using a business’ name or address.

To see all of the inspections in October just hit the Search button.

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Food establishments include grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores, senior meal sites, mobile food units, restaurants and schools. Food processors include wholesalers, warehouses, packers and manufacturers. Lodging establishments include hotels and motels, boarding houses and any other operation that charges for sleeping accommodations.

The frequency of inspections depends on the type of facility. Most restaurants are inspected once every 12 to 18 months. All establishments are inspected when they open as part of the licensing process and also when someone complains about conditions.

Inspections can take place at any time, and follow-up inspections take place if violations aren’t corrected on site immediately.

You can complain about a Kansas food establishment by sending an email to or by calling 785-564-6767.

To file a confidential food safety complaint involving illness, call the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Response at 877-427-7317 or email

You can learn more about Kansas’ lodging and food safety laws here.