Food & Drink

Dirty dining: Dogs, mold, bad smells 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 of Manatee County restaurants, several establishments had mold on food or equipment.

A handful of restaurants were cited for storing foods that were supposed to be kept cold at unsafe temperatures.

Speaks Clam Bar, 8764 State Road 70 E., Lakewood Ranch

  • Three cutting boards on the cook line had cut marks and were no longer cleanable.
  • No handwashing sign was provided at a sink used by food employees. An employee made a sign.
  • A soda gun was soiled with accumulated debris.
  • Dishmachine sanitizer was not at the proper minimum strength. Corrective action was taken.
  • Mozzarella cheese, lettuce, leafy greens and milk were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • There was an accumulation of black/green mold-like substance inside an ice machine, according to an inspector.
  • Tags on shellfish were not marked with the last date that the food had been served.
  • The restaurant was not keeping records of shellfish tags for 90 days. The restaurant only had the last two weeks of tags on hand. A chef told the inspector that an employee had discarded all of the other tags.
  • Drink ice was found melting in a handwash sink. The inspector educated a manager regarding proper use of handwash sinks.

Rico’s Pizzeria & Pasta House, 5218 State Road 64, Bradenton

  • During a follow-up visit, an inspector again observed foods held at unsafe temperatures. Shredded mozzarella cheese, marinara, cut sausage, sliced ham, meatballs and ricotta cheese were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. Another follow-up inspection was required.

Ever wonder why that restaurant on the corner always seems to change? It turns out the lifespan of most restaurants are pretty short.

Robin’s Downtown Cafe, 428 12th St. W., Bradenton

  • A jug of oil was stored on the kitchen floor. Corrective action was taken.
  • There was a hole in the ceiling near the back door.
  • The temperature gauge on a dishmachine was not operational.
  • There was an objectionable odor in the women’s restroom, according to an inspector.
  • American cheese and Swiss cheese were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A cook moved them to refrigeration. During a follow-up visit, an inspector observed American cheese, Swiss cheese and hard-boiled eggs cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • Pet dogs were permitted in an outdoor dining area without a local ordinance that allowed it. An inspector observed a couple with three dogs sitting near the door. One of the dogs barked and lunged at the inspector and other patrons. The inspector educated the restaurant operator regarding the questions he was allowed to ask the dog owners according to ADA regulations. The operator stated that he was not going to stop the customers from bringing their dogs because he did not want to be sued, but he eventually spoke with them.
  • Required employee training was expired for one employee.

Lovin Oven, 3506 First St., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed one dead roach inside of an inoperable walk-in freezer.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust.
  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses.
  • Dishmachine sanitizer was not at the proper minimum strength.
  • Sausage links, sausage patties, Munster cheese, shredded cheese and half and half were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. Corrective action was taken.
  • Raw beef was stored directly over pizza sauce and ground beef was stored directly on top of milk. Corrective action was taken.
  • Milk was not properly date-marked after opening.
  • There was no test kit at hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use at a three-compartment sink/warewashing machine.

The Lodge at Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club, 16235 Players Dr., Lakewood Ranch

  • Ice cream scoops were stored in standing water. Corrective action was taken.
  • An inspector observed sour cream with a mold-like growth. A manager voluntarily discarded the item.
  • There was water on the floor of a walk-in cooler and food debris on the floor of a walk-in freezer. An employee cleaned both.
  • American cheese and cheddar cheese were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A manager iced down the cheese products.
  • Raw beef was stored over cooked meatballs and steak in a walk-in freezer and raw eggs were stored over marshmallow in a walk-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.
  • An inspector observed knives, spoons and tongs stored in sanitizer in between uses. Corrective action was taken.
  • Employee drinks were stored throughout the kitchen. Corrective action was taken.

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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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