Food & Drink

Dirty dining: One restaurant had moldy dessert. Another was storing dessert with raw meat

According to the latest inspection report of Manatee County, multiple restaurants are having issues storing food at safe temperatures.

A handful of Bradenton-area restaurants were cited for having grease or mold on equipment.

Here’s what inspectors found:

Sonic Drive-In, 8803 U.S. 301, Parrish

  • An open package of raw beef was stored over ready-to-eat dessert in a reach-in freezer. Corrective action was taken.
  • An inspector observed six flying insects in the dining room.
  • There was an accumulation of black/green mold-like substance inside an ice bin.
  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink in the men’s room.
  • A handwash sink was soiled.
  • A milkshake machine, grill, reach-in cooler and tables had a buildup of grease, according to an inspector.
  • A cardboard box lined with plastic was being used to hold old grease in the kitchen.
  • The ceiling above a three-compartment sink was soiled.
  • Clean utensils were stored in a location where they were exposed to splashes from a three-compartment sink.
  • An employee with no beard guard was preparing food.
  • The equipment used to pump old cooking oil to a bulk holding container was not working, causing employees to keep buckets of used oil in the kitchen.
  • There was accumulated grease on the kitchen floor and/or under cooking equipment.
  • A bag of strawberry puree was thawing at room temperature. Corrective action was taken.

Mami Carmen’s Restaurant, 5604 15th St. E., Bradenton

  • Flan in a reach-in cooler had a mold-like growth on it. A stop sale was issued.
  • The kitchen ceiling was soiled.
  • 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 currently certified food manager was on duty while four or more employees were engaged in food preparation/handling.
  • Pulled chicken, yellow rice, yuca, raw fish and heavy whipping cream were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued for the foods.
  • Dishmachine sanitizer was not at the proper minimum strength.
  • The establishment was not properly maintaining its shellfish tags.
  • The establishment offered raw or undercooked oysters without a written consumer advisory.
  • Purple onions were stored on the floor, according to an inspector. Corrective action was taken.
  • Wet wiping cloths were not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses. Corrective action was taken.

Samurai Steakhouse, 3611 First St., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed a dead roach in the warewashing area. The roach was discarded.
  • No handwashing sign was provided at a sink used by food employees. Corrective action was taken.
  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink by the sushi bar. Corrective action was taken.
  • The floor of a walk-in freezer was soiled.
  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade. Corrective action was taken.
  • There was no proof of required training for an employee hired more than 60 days prior.

Stonewood Grill & Tavern, 5415 University Parkway, University Park

  • An employee with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation. Corrective action was taken.
  • A door was not attached to a reach-in freezer on the cook line.
  • Whole milk, half-and-half, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, steak, blue cheese, pico de gallo, lobster, edamame and feta cheese were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A restaurant operator was not sure how long the milk and half-and-half had been removed from temperature control, so a stop sale was issued and the products were discarded. During a follow-up inspection the next day, an inspector observed half-and-half, marinated chicken, beef patties, raw strip steak and raw sirloin steak held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. The half-and-half was discarded and the meats were iced down.
  • A dishmachine’s final rinse cycle was not reaching the proper minimum temperature.
  • There was no proof of required training for an employee hired more than 60 days prior.
  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink at the bar.

  • Key lime pie was not properly date-marked. A restaurant operator located a food preparation log and dated the food.
  • Soda guns at the bar were soiled.

Applebee’s Grill and Bar, 5908 18th St. E., Ellenton

  • Cooked potatoes were hot held at a temperature less than 135 degrees. Corrective action was taken.
  • There was an accumulation of debris inside and on the exterior of a warewashing machine.
  • An inspector observed an employee pull chicken off of a grill and state that it was ready to be served, but the chicken was not at the proper minimum temperature. The chicken was placed back on the grill to be heated to the appropriate temperature.
  • Dishmachine sanitizer was not at the proper minimum strength, and the dishmachine was not working properly. A restaurant operator placed a service order for the machine.

Sweet Tomatoes, 5407 University Parkway, Bradenton

  • Vanilla dairy mixture and chocolate dairy mixture in an ice cream hopper were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. At the salad bar, corn, peas and cottage cheese were too warm. On the hot bar, shredded cheddar cheese anf tofu were too warm.

  • Hot water at multiple handwash sinks did not reach 100 degrees.
  • There was no proof of required training for an employee hired more than 60 days prior. Training was expired for another employee.

Pita’s Republic, 8215 Tourist Center Dr., Bradenton

  • An employee with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation.
  • Reach-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust.
  • Single service articles were not stored protected from contamination. Corrective action was taken.
  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses. Corrective action was taken.
  • Feta cheese, cut lettuce, cut tomatoes, shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese, tzatziki sauce and spinach pies were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued due to temperature abuse. During a follow-up inspection, shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese, shredded lettuce, grape leaves, feta cheese and spinach pies were being cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • There was an accumulation of black/green mold-like substance inside an ice machine.
  • No probe thermometer was at hand to measure the temperature of food products.
  • There was no proof of required training for any employees.
  • Food in multiple reach-in coolers was not properly date-marked.

Valentino Pizzeria Trattoria, 8203 Cooper Creek Blvd., Bradenton

  • A cook was observed touching multiple cooked pizzas with bare hands.
  • Blue cheese, fresh mozzarella and diced tomatoes were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • Marinara and tomato sauce were hot held at temperatures less than 135 degrees.
  • Marinara on the pizza make line had no time marking and the time removed from temperature control could not be determined.
  • There was an accumulation of black/green mold-like substance inside of an ice machine.
  • Shellfish tags were not marked with the last date the food was served.
  • An open container of whole milk was not properly date-marked.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade.
  • Hot water was not provided at an employee handwash sink.
  • There was no test kit at hand for sanitizer in use for warewashing.
  • There was no proof of required training for four employees hired more than 60 days prior.
  • Cooked shrimp in a reach-in cooler was not properly date-marked. The shrimp was discarded.
  • A bag of food was stored on the floor of a walk-in freezer.
  • The ceiling was soiled.
  • Coffee filters and other single-service articles were not stored protected from contamination.
  • An employee with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation.
  • An in-use knife was stored in a crack between pieces of equipment, and tongs were stored on an equipment door handle.
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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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