WEST RIDGE — The uber-popular Angry Crab was shut down by the city's Health Department this week.
The restaurant, which routinely sees customers lined up down the block, was closed after an inspection Tuesday found critical violations of the city's health code, including failing to keep a walk-in cooler at a proper temperature for seafood, city records show. The cooler was found to be at temperatures as high as 70.5 degrees, "with potentially hazardous food inside, including shrimp, oysters and clams," according to a city Health Department report.
Other coolers were at 53.4 and 49.1 degrees. All refrigerators need to be at 40 degrees or lower, the city said.
Other foods found at potentially hazardous temperatures included 50 pounds of sausage, 40 pounds of king crab legs, 100 pounds of shrimp, 20 pounds of clams and 5 pounds of calamari. The food was thrown away, the inspection reports say.
City Health Department officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
No one answered the phone at the restaurant at 5665 N. Lincoln Ave. on Thursday. But in a statement posted on Facebook, the restaurant said that its coolers were having "crabby difficulties" and it hoped to reopen soon. The post encouraged customers to go to its new Wicker Park location.
Inspectors also found a dirty mop room and staff room and said vents above cooking equipment were full of grease.
Three houseflies and 10 fruit files also were seen in the restaurant.
Inspectors said some serious violations from July had not been addressed. They "observed mildewy like substance in ice portion of pop machine."
The inspector found problems in a walk-in cooler, including "king crab legs juice dripping onto corn," and other seafood was stored near fruit and vegetables.
"Walk-in cooler must be labeled and organized in a way to prevent cross-contamination," the report said.
News of the restaurant's closure was first reported in Eater.
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