San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Tourist hotspot Café Mundo closed indefinitely by Health Ministry

Popular San José restaurant Café Mundo, located in Barrio Otoya, has been shut down indefinitely due to health code violations and reports of food-born illness among customers. The Health Ministry received several complaints from patrons who became ill after eating there. Customers complained of diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms of food poisoning several hours after eating at the well-known tourist spot.

The Health Ministry cited reports of food poisoning on March 23, 24 and 28. At 9:40 a.m. on Tuesday, health inspectors arrived at Café Mundo to investigate the conditions of the restaurant.

Accompanied by restaurant manager Oscar Trejos, inspectors found unsanitary conditions throughout Café Mundo, according to a report released by the Health Ministry. Disinfectants were discovered near the liquors. Surfaces appeared unwashed and not disinfected. 

The ministry noted mishandled food, vegetables stored on the floor (instead of in a container), meat exposed to contamination and uncovered near garbage bins, and shrimp in the freezer that wasn’t in proper condition.

Part of the restaurant was undergoing remodeling. However, the kitchen remained exposed to the area under construction. Dust coated the walls, floors and tables in the kitchen. Holes were found in the walls, on the floor and in the roof.

The restaurant must submit a plan to improve food handling and storage before it will be allowed to reopen. Calls made to Café Mundo were not answered.

Read the Health Ministry’s report on Café Mundo and see photos of the inside of the restaurant here.

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