Food & Drink

Dirty Dining: Rodent droppings, butter too warm and more issues at Bradenton-area restaurants.

A statewide look at Florida’s top restaurant violations for 2017-18

Restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. Here are the top ten violations inspectors found between 2017-18 in Florida restaurant kitchens.
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Restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. Here are the top ten violations inspectors found between 2017-18 in Florida restaurant kitchens.

According to the latest inspection report, several Manatee County restaurants were not storing food at safe temperatures or not following their own procedures.

A Bradenton restaurant was cited for having rodent droppings on site.

enRich Bistro, 5629 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed three to four dry, hard rodent droppings in a back-of-house dry storage area.
  • The back dry storage area was not fully enclosed from the outside, according to an inspector. Pans, utensils, cans of food, a reach-in freezer and a reach-in cooler were stored in the area.

  • An exterior door had a gap at the threshold that opened to the outside.
  • Three jugs of oil were stored on the floor of a dry storage area. Corrective action was taken.
  • Four cutting boards on the cook line had cut marks and were no longer cleanable.
  • Raw eggs were stored over pastrami in a reach-in cooler.
  • An inspector observed raw chicken and a knife stored on a handwash sink. An employee removed the items.
  • There were no written procedures available for storing potentially hazardous food using time as a public health control. Butter was observed at room temperature.

Finger Lickin’ BBQ Bar & Grill, 3142 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton

  • Raw chicken wings and raw chicken breast were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • Macaroni and cheese, string beans and turnip greens on the cook line and cooked chicken in a smoker were hot held at less than 135 degrees, according to an inspector. A restaurant operator reheated the macaroni and discarded the beans and greens.

  • Hot water was not provided at an employee handwash sink in a preparation area.
  • Meatloaf in a walk-in freezer had no date marking.
  • Shelves were pitted with rust and the floor was soiled in a walk-in cooler/freezer.

Tequilas Restaurant, 639 10th St. E., Palmetto

  • Refried beans, beef broth, ground beef, cooked chicken, chili rellenos and shredded cheese were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued.
  • An inspector observed pico de gallo, cooked tomatillos and tomato sauce stored under raw beef and chicken. Corrective action was taken.
  • Food in a walk-in cooler and a reach-in cooler had no date markings.
  • Oil, tortilla chips and a bag of beans were stored on the floor in a dry storage area. The items were moved to a shelf.
  • Sanitizing tablets were stored single service items used for food. Corrective action was taken.
  • Multiple handwash sinks were not accessible for employe use. Corrective action was taken.
  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink on the cook line. Corrective action was taken.
  • Raw or undercooked oysters were offered and the restaurant had no consumer advisory notice. Corrective action was taken.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, 2203 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • In-use butter was stored at room temperature for more than four hours. A stop sale was issued and the butter was discarded.
  • Food was stored on the floor in a walk-in freezer. Corrective action was taken.
  • Reach-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust and soiled with food debris.

IHOP, 5427 14th St. W., Bradenton

  • Raw chicken thawing in standing water rose to a temperature of above 41 degrees. The chicken was discarded.
  • Eggs and sliced tomatoes were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • An inspector observed mashed potatoes that were cooling at an inadequate rate at room temperature. The inspector advised the restaurant operator to move the potatoes to refrigeration.
  • Turkey bacon was stored on the floor in the kitchen.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were soiled with encrusted food debris.
  • Walk-in cooler and freezer floors were soiled.
  • There was a hole in the ceiling in a dry storage room and water damage to a wall.
  • An ice machine had limescale buildup inside, according to an inspector.
  • Coffee filters were not stored protected from contamination.

Mike’s Express, 5640 15th St. E., Bradenton

  • Raw chicken quarters, raw shrimp and raw tilapia were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • Black beans and rice was hot held at a temperature less than 135 degrees.
  • Raw animal foods were not properly separated based upon minimum required cooking time, according to an inspector. Raw chicken gizzards were stored over raw shrimp in a reach-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.
  • An employee was observed washing hands in an unapproved handwashing sink.
  • There was no probe thermometer at hand to measure the temperature of food products.
  • Reach-in cooler shelves were soiled with food debris.

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Editor’s Note: According to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, these reports are a “snapshot” of the conditions present at the time of the inspection and are public record. The agency is required to inspect every licensed restaurant at least once per year, but new and “high-risk” establishments tend to be inspected more frequently.

When an emergency shutdown order is given by an inspector, it must first be reviewed and approved by agency supervisors. In order for a business to reopen, an inspector will continue visiting the establishment daily until compliance is met. Some citations may include a financial penalty. Inspectors may also respond to complaints, which can be filed here.

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