Food & Drink

Dirty dining: Flies, vape juice and dead roaches 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 Bradenton establishments had dead roaches on site.

One restaurant was cited when an inspector found vape juice stored with utensils.

Main Street Trattoria, 8131 #101, Lakewood Main St., Lakewood Ranch

  • Clam and mussel tags were not stored in chronological order based on the last date they were served at the establishment. An inspector educated the restaurant operator regarding proper date marking and ordering of shellfish tags.
  • The bar beer keg cooler was soiled, according to an inspector.
  • Boxes of bread were stored on the floor of a walk-in freezer and onions and marinara were stored on the floor of a walk-in cooler. The items were moved.
  • An employee had personal food and drink in a food preparation area. The items were moved to the lobby.
  • Tongs were stored on an oven door in between uses. The tongs were moved to hot water for holding.
  • An inspector observed four open windows at the bar area with no screen to prevent insects from entering the establishment.
  • There were approximately 10 flying insects observed in the establishment, including on the cook line where bread was being stored. During a follow-up visit, six flying insects were observed.
  • A wall in the dishwashing area was soiled with accumulated black debris. An employee cleaned the area.
  • Multiple pastas, cooked sausage and cooked mushrooms were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. The foods were moved to a walk-in freezer for rapid cooling.
  • Blue cheese, shredded cheese, mozzarella cheese, cooked sausage, cooked peppers and meatballs were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued and the cheeses were discarded. The other items were moved for rapid cooling.

  • Cases of soda were stored with chemicals. The soda was moved.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade. The blade was cleaned.
  • A handwash sink was not accessible for employee use due to a pan stored inside. The pan was removed.
  • No test kit was at hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use at a three-compartment sink/warewashing machine.
  • There was no proof of required training for any employees.

Popi’s Place, 6409 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed three dead roaches on site. The roaches were discarded. The restaurant operator said pest control visits twice a month.
  • Cardboard used as an anti-slip surface on the cook line was heavily soiled. The cardboard was removed.
  • Tortillas were stored on the floor of a walk-in freezer. The tortillas were shelved.
  • An employee drink was stored in a food prep area. The drink was moved.

  • Multiple exterior doors had gaps to the outside around the perimeter.
  • A handwash sink had soiled handles. The handles were cleaned.
  • Walk-in cooler or freezer gaskets were soiled with a slimy, mold-like buildup.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were encrusted with food debris and pitted with rust.
  • Raw chicken, raw beef, ham, multiple deli meats, Swiss cheese, hard-boiled eggs, tuna salad, chicken salad, tomatoes, ranch dressing, coleslaw, feta, cooked potatoes and sauerkraut were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. Some items were moved to a walk-in cooler and some were iced down.
  • During a follow-up inspection, potentially hazardous foods were again being cold held at unsafe temperatures. An inspector observed American cheese, raw beef, raw chicken, tuna salad, chicken salad, deli meat, hard-boiled eggs, cut melon and cut tomatoes at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.

  • Raw chicken breasts were stored directly over beef steaks and onion rings in a walk-in freezer. The chicken was moved to a bottom shelf.

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

Giovanni’s Brooklyn Pizzeria, 5203 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed one dead roach on the premises. The roach was discarded.
  • The ceiling above a dough mixer was soiled with accumulated food debris, grease and/or dust.
  • An employee drink was stored on a food preparation table. The drink was moved.
  • Single-service articles were stored on the floor of a dry storage area.
  • The bottom of a beer keg cooler was soiled. A manager cleaned the cooler.
  • Pizza sauce and cooked chicken were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. The sauce was moved to rapid cooling and the chicken was discarded.
  • Vape juice was stored with utensils. The vape juice was moved.
  • There was no certified food manager for the establishment.
  • There were no written procedures available for use of time as a public health control for potentially hazardous foods, and pizza was being held at room temperature. Corrective action was taken.

River Club Grille at The River Club, 6600 River Club Blvd., Bradenton

  • All of the ceiling vents throughout the kitchen and warewashing areas were soiled, according to an inspector.
  • A walk-in freezer door was peeling back from its frame.
  • There was mold buildup on walk-in cooler gaskets. An employee cleaned the gaskets.
  • Butter was being cold held at a temperature greater than 41 degrees. The butter was moved to rapid cooling.
  • Raw beef was stored over cooked lasagna in a walk-in freezer. The beef was moved to a raw storage area.
  • Wiping cloth sanitizer solution exceeded the maximum concentration allowed. Corrective action was taken.
  • Multiple reach-in coolers had shelves soiled with food debris.

  • A soda gun at the bar was soiled. A manager cleaned it.

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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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