San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Café Mundo passes health inspection, ready to reopen

One month after the Health Ministry shut down Café Mundo, the popular restaurant has passed its inspections and is ready to reopen, confirmed a spokesperson for the ministry.

Citing unsanitary conditions, the Health Ministry closed the restaurant April 5 after receiving dozens of complaints about alleged food poisoning during the weeks leading up the inspection (TT, April 15).

A report by inspectors mentioned unwashed surfaces, cleaning solutions placed near the liquors and uncooked meat sitting next to vegetables in the kitchen. The restaurant was undergoing remodeling but no separation existed between the construction area and the kitchen. Dust coated the walls, floors and tables in the kitchen.

Multiple calls were made to Café Mundo’s owner Diego Meléndez for comment about the reopening, but he could not be reached by Sunday night.

Meléndez told The Tico Times on April 14 that he planned to finish remodeling the restaurant during the closure, and hoped to reopen during the first week of May.

He refuted some claims made in the Health Ministry’s report, saying there was a plastic barrier separating the parts of the kitchen under construction. Meléndez added that Café Mundo’s closure was his decision, after he invited a health administrator to investigate the problems. He also was skeptical about food poisoning reports, saying that doctors told him there’s been a stomach flu epidemic in the country.

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