Food & Drink

More dirty dining: Roaches shut down one restaurant. Frogs and lizards plague another

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, The Banana Factory in Bradenton was temporarily shut down when an inspector observed signs of roach activity.

Other restaurants were cited for dead frogs and lizards.

Here is a look at some of the most recent restaurant inspections:

The Banana Factory, 6916 14th St. W., Bradenton

  • The bar and grill was temporarily closed on May 2 after an inspector observed signs of roach activity.
  • An inspector observed approximately 13 live roaches in and around a three-compartment sink.
  • There was a roach egg on a shelf above a three-compartment sink.
  • An inspector observed approximately five dead roaches.
  • A container of food was stored on the floor of a walk-in cooler.
  • Straws provided for customer self-service were not individually wrapped or in an approved dispenser.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust.
  • The interior of a walk-in cooler was soiled with dust.
  • An employee was observed washing hands without soap.
  • Hot water in a dishmachine was not reaching the proper minimum temperature.
  • A soda gun at the bar was soiled.
  • During a follow-up inspection on May 3, an inspector observed 16 live roaches. A restaurant operator killed some of the roaches.
  • The inspector observed four dead roaches and six roach eggs.
  • The establishment remained closed.

Lakewood Ranch Cinema, 10715 Rodeo Dr. #8, Lakewood Ranch

  • An inspector found two dead lizards in a beer keg cooler. A manager removed the lizards.
  • The inspector observed approximately 150 lizard droppings in a partially enclosed walkway leading to a walk-in cooler used to store beer. A manager swept up and removed the droppings.
  • A gap at the bottom of an exterior door and a three-foot gap between a wall and ceiling allowed lizards to breach the area, an inspector said.
  • During a follow-up visit the next day, an inspector observed 20 more lizard droppings, one dead lizard and one dead frog in the walk-in cooler. An employee cleaned the droppings and removed the dead animals.
  • An employee drink was stored on a food preparation table. The drink was removed.
  • During a second follow-up visit, the exterior door had been fitted with weatherproofing, but the ceiling gap was still there.

Tijuana Flats, 5215 University Pkwy. #106, University Park

  • An employee with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust and encrusted with food debris.
  • Diced tomatoes were cold held at a temperature greater than 41 degrees.
  • Queso cheese was hot held at a temperature less than 135 degrees. Corrective action was taken.
  • Diced chicken was not cooled from ambient temperature to at least 41 degrees within four hours. The chicken was discarded.
  • There was no test kit at hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use at a three-compartment sink/warewashing machine.
  • A spray bottle containing a toxic substance was not labeled.

Uncle Nick’s N.Y. Style Bagels, Subs & Deli, 5917 Manatee Ave. W. #301, Bradenton

  • A cook with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation. The cook put on a hat.
  • Cooked sausage was hot held at a temperature less than 135 degrees. The sausage was discarded.

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

Lucca’s Pizza and Wine Bar, 817 14th St. W., Bradenton

  • All foods in a reach-in cooler (cooked sausage, ricotta cheese, cut green peppers, cut onion and garlic in oil) were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued for the foods.
  • Cheese and pizza in other reach-in coolers were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. Corrective action was taken.
  • Eggplant parmigiana, cooked pasta, cut pinions, cut green peppers and salad mix in a walk-in cooler were not properly date-marked.
  • A cutting board had cut marks and was no longer cleanable.
  • The establishment was operating without a license from the Division of Hotels and Restaurants.
  • Drink ice had a hose in it. The hose was removed.
  • Hot water was not provided at an employee handwash sink.
  • A bar was added to the restaurant without the addition of an employee handwash sink.
  • No handwashing sign was provided at a sink used by food employees. A sign was posted.
  • No currently certified food manager was on duty while four or more employees were engaged in food preparation or handling.
  • The restaurant had no written procedures for using time as a public health control to monitor potentially hazardous foods. An inspector observed two pizzas and pizza sauce at ambient temperatures. The inspector educated the manager regarding time as a public health control and the paperwork was completed.

Papa Ron’s, 6916 14th St. W., Bradenton

  • An employee with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation.
  • Single-service articles were not stored protected from contamination.
  • A wall was soiled with accumulated grease, food debris and/or dust.
  • An employee was handling cooked lasagna and celery with bare hands.
  • Provolone cheese was cold held at a temperature greater than 41 degrees.
  • The certified food manager or person in charged lacked knowledge of foodborne illnesses and symptoms of illness that would prevent an employee from working with food.
  • No handwashing sign was provided at a sink used by food employees.
  • Hot water was not provided at an employee handwash sink.
  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink.
  • There was no test kit at hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use at a three-compartment sink/warewashing machine.
  • There was no probe thermometer at hand to measure the temperature of food products.
  • There was no proof of required training for any employees.

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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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