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French bakery La Toulousaine on Amsterdam Avenue and 107th street was shuttered by the Department of Health on Monday after an inspector found flies and determined that the store wasn’t vermin-proof. The bakery racked up 33 violations points. An employee told DNAinfo that the store has been cleaned.

“There are no rats, no roaches, nothing else — only flies,” said the employee, who added that the flies were eliminated after the exterminator’s visit. The store could be open again soon if it passes a follow-up inspection.

The violations are below.

Sanitary Violations
1) Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies.
2) Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions conducive to attracting vermin to the premises and/or allowing vermin to exist.

See our previous coverage of health violations at UWS restaurants here.

FOOD, NEWS | 17 comments | permalink
    1. dannyboy says:

      Re: flies in French restaurants

      Is there any provision in the Health Code exempting French restaurants from being fly-free?

      I still miss Pic Nic on Broadway, where I adjusted to, and accepted the flies because their lasagna was just that good.

      Perhaps a large Disclaimer along with their Rating placed in the window: “flies flying here”?

      • Justina says:

        I loved Picnic. Great food and service every time. Have no idea why it closed. There are a lot dirtier places and they seem to stay open. I never though Picnic was dirty, it looked very clean and well lit, etc. Picnic was the only decent restaurant above 96th Street until you get to the Columbia U area.

        • Joe says:

          I don’t think I ever read anywhere why Picnic closed. Just speculating, but might it have had something to do with the possible inattention of one of the owners, Judith Norell?

          She surely let her first place, Silver Moon Bakery, run down (at least in my opinion). I haven’t been there in several years since I bought a far too large, rock hard and way overpriced Hamentash. Not my first disappointing visit there, but definitely my last. Doesn’t seem to affect business as clueless Upper West Siders line up to overpay and deal with disinterested staff. Ms. Norell is nowhere in sight.

    2. UWS Dept of Comment says:

      After finding a fly in his muffin, one patron remarked, “I thought it was a raisin.”

      Dept of Comment

    3. GiGi says:

      Well, there goes my dark chocolate raspberry mousse cake craving for tonight. 🙁 Flies are everywhere. It’s NYC. Just cover your stuff.

    4. Life-long UWSider says:

      Hopefully they will re-open soon, but I wonder if the curse of The Yellow Placard will ultimately hurt them.

      My kids are practically in sackcloth and ashes at the prospect of this place going away.

      Great pastries and an amusingly grumpy owner.

    5. Rebecca says:

      Best local bakery in the neighborhood! Love this place and even the grumpy, French owner has grown on me. I am really hoping that the place is back open by the weekend as my kids count down the days until the weekend when they get their fix of european waffles and croissants from this place!
      While i appreciate the Dept of Sanitation, they need to balance commercialism/struggles of small business owner with that of keeping sanitation standards. Shuttering a place over flies seems draconian.

      • Cato says:

        The points imposed on a “flies” violation depend on the number of flies the inspector saw. For the inspector to have imposed so many points as to warrant shuttering the store, the inspector must have seen an enormous number of the critters.

        This is not likely an instance of see-a-fly-shut-the-store, but is more likely to have been a real infestation. The Commissioner’s regulations define the maximum condition for flies as:

        “More than 30 filth flies, FRSA flies and/or other conditions exist conducive to
        infestation of filth flies.

        “Example: 40 flies in the basement garbage area; and other conditions exist conducive to filth fly infestation, e.g., openings to the outer air, water, food, decaying matter
        and/or sewage.

        “Inspector must call office to discuss closing or other enforcement measures.”

        and then scroll down to page 17, Violation 4N, Condition V.

    6. Mark says:

      Can we have the Wai Lee Chinese food restaurant back now?

    7. westsidegene says:

      I hope all of you who seem to think there is nothing wrong with a few flies buzzing around you pastries realize that flies carry diseases. The fly that just landed on your cupcake just spent the last 30 minutes feasting on rover’s droppings outside the bakery. Hearty appetite!!!

      • dannyboy says:


      • ScooterStan says:

        Re: “The fly that just landed on your cupcake just spent the last 30 minutes feasting on rover’s droppings outside the bakery. Hearty appetite!!!”

        Well, if it HAD spent 30 minutes feasting on doggy-doo then it should be quite full and probably would not eat too much of your cupcake, no?

    8. Ken says:

      I visit La Toulousaine at least once a week, and was quite unhappy to see the notice of their (one hopes, temporary) demise earlier this week. Great pastries well worth the trip — I live 16 blocks away — and as for the so-called grumpy owner, she’s never been anything less than cheerful with me, always waiving small change charges when I have no small change. (I just make it up next time I come back.) And I can’t say I’ve ever seen a fly there and am betting this was a one-time sudden infestation.

    9. RSM says:

      Having taken the NYState Food Safety exam, I can promise you that virtually nothing is as disease ridden and potentially as dangerous to health than the common house fly. Any food operation that has flies is a serious danger to public health.

    10. Louise says:

      They still have the most delicious eclairs in New York City!

    11. Mark says:

      I would avoid anything with raisins. Just sayin…

    12. Andrew says:

      Love this place.. amazing bread. Grumpy owners? I don’t expect them to be singing rainbows and surrounded by cartoon birds; they’re just fine and always seem to recognize me and have a smile for me. Oh well.
      Anyway, I don’t think the bakery is any better or worse in it’s cleanliness.. I think this must have been a one time thing. I always wonder if these types of citations for a place that doesn’t seem to have any problems is about them not being a chain and someone in the neighborhood trying to drive them out? I guess I’ve lived in NYC too long.. either that or I’ve seen too many XFiles. 🙂