cibo wine bar king

Popular Italian restaurant in Toronto shut down because of pests

There are a few names that are consistently seen on the DineSafe offenders list, often chains that have many locations. But, what is often not seen is high-end upscale wine bars. 

The exception to that is this week, when a Cibo Wine Bar location was closed by health inspectors for a whopping 22 infractions over the course of three consecutive inspections. 

The first inspection in the chain of unfortunate events took place on April 3, when the Italian restaurant at 522 King St. W. racked up seven infractions. At that point, "failure to protect against breeding of pests" was one of the significant contributions to the yellow conditional pass card. 

DineSafe inspectors revisited the spot the next day, and added another four infractions, one of which again included a failure to prevent pests. 

Finally, inspectors headed back to Cibo yesterday to follow up on the two conditional passes, and shut the place down. "Food premise maintained in a manner permitting health hazard (insects)" seemed to be the final straw. 

Nick Di Donato, president and CEO of Cibo parent company Liberty Group said in a statement to blogTO the restaurant chain has a "long standing record of exceptional cleanliness."

"We expect the matter will be resolved as soon as possible."

The closure and frequent DineSafe near-misses and eventual closure come as a surprise in this particular case. Cibo is a renowned upscale dining spot that has won awards and praise from many around. 

Paying over $15 for a few bites of pasta might make you feel like a fine dining experience is surrounding you, but unfortunately in this case, it comes with a side of insects. 

Di Donato said the company feels this closure was due to an overzealous health inspector. Pest control is done bi-weekly by a third-party company, which he said "exceeds industry standards and is more frequent than the majority of restaurants"

"The control methods used by the third party were deemed to be sufficient by the health inspector in numerous past inspections," he said.

The previous round of inspection at Cibo was conditional as well, back in December. The problems then were rectified and the restaurant was given a green card on December 13. It remains closed as of now, until it solves its insect problem. 

Note: This post has been updated to include comments from Cibo.

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