Food & Drink

Dirty dining: Live roaches and rodent droppings shut down Bradenton-area restaurant

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, Sunshine Caribbean Restaurant in Sarasota was temporarily closed when an inspector found signs of roach and rodent activity.

Several other Bradenton-area restaurants were cited for storing potentially hazardous foods too warm or too cold.

Sunshine Caribbean Restaurant, 6320 15th St. E., Sarasota

  • Sunshine Caribbean Restaurant was temporarily shut down on June 12 after an inspector observed live roaches and rodent droppings throughout the establishment.

  • An inspector observed approximately five live roaches inside a storage closet.

  • Roach droppings too numerous to count were on the shelves of the storage closet.

  • An inspector observe approximately 57 rodent droppings throughout the restaurant, including behind the bar, under a shelf at the front counter and at an air conditioning unit in the kitchen.

  • Dry storage shelves were pitted with rust.

  • A wall near the stove and fryer was soiled.

  • Sanitizer for manual warewashing was not at the proper minimum strength.

  • The air thermometer in a holding unit was no accurate.

  • No soap was provided at handwash sinks in a restroom.

  • A spray bottle containing a toxic substance was not labeled.

  • Sunshine Caribbean Restaurant met inspection standards during a follow-up visit on June 13.

Popi’s Place Too, 815 Eighth Ave. W., Palmetto

  • Tzatziki sauce, provolone cheese and sliced tomatoes were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • An inspector observed creamers and butters that had been out on customer tables being placed in a reach-in cooler to be re-served.
  • A server applied hand sanitizer instead of washing hands. Corrective action was taken.
  • Two managers lacked proof of food manager certification.
  • A bin of ice at the wait station was stored on the floor. Corrective action was taken.
  • The ceiling was soiled.
  • Reach-in cooler gaskets had a slimy/mold-like buildup.
  • Single service articles were not stored protected from contamination. Corrective action was taken.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust.
  • A wall was soiled with accumulated grease, food debris and/or dust.
  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses.

Popi’s Place III, 10508 U.S. 41 N., Palmetto

  • A dishwasher handled soiled dishes or utensils and then handled clean dishes or utensils without first washing hands, according to an inspector.

  • Cottage cheese, milk, shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese, blue cheese and gyro meat were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.

  • Raw animal food was stored over ready-to-eat food in a walk-in cooler.

  • An inspector observed approximately 66 raw eggs being stored at a room temperature of 85 degrees. The eggs were placed on ice.

  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade.

  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink at the wait station.

  • Lasagna, yellow rice, chicken wings, potato salad, sausage links, pulled chicken, tuna salad and stuffing that had been prepared at least 24 hours prior had no date-marking.

  • Coffee filters were not stored protected from contamination.
  • In-use tongs were stored on an equipment door handle in between uses.
  • An cook with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were encrusted with food debris.

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill at Ellenton Premium Outlets, 5461 Factory Shops Blvd., Ellenton

  • No sanitizer of any kind was available for warewashing. Corrective action was taken.
  • Pico de gallo, shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese, sour cream, corn and guacamole were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued for the foods.
  • Diced beef and fajitas were hot held at temperatures less than 135 degrees. The temperature at the holding unit was adjusted.
  • The certified food manager or person in charge lacked knowledge of foodborne illnesses and symptoms of illness that would prevent an employee from working with food.
  • No test kit was provided to measure the strength of sanitizer in use for warewashing. Corrective action was taken.
  • No probe thermometer was at hand to measure the temperature of food products. Corrective action was taken.

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

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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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