Food & Drink

More dirty dining: At some restaurants, workers fail to wash their hands while fixing your meals

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, several restaurants were cited for high priority handwashing issues.

Citations were issued for failing to wash hands after going to the bathroom, touching raw meat and cracking raw eggs.

Here’s what inspectors found:

Popi’s Place IV, 3911 U.S. 301, Ellenton

  • A container of french fries were stored on the floor of a walk-in freezer. Corrective action was taken.
  • An exterior door in the back kitchen had a gap at the threshold that opened to the outside.
  • Raw chicken was thawing in a bucket of still water. A manager turned on running water.
  • Coffee filters were not properly protected from contamination.
  • Water was draining onto the floor between a wall and a walk-in freezer.
  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses.
  • A cook was using the same flour dredge for fried mushrooms, raw pork, raw beef, raw fish and raw chicken without ensuring that all foods were heated to a minimum of 165 degrees. Corrective action was taken.
  • An inspector observed an employee with gloves on preparing raw animal foods for frying and then touching cooked toast without washing hands and changing gloves. Additionally, an employee was observed touching another employee with gloved hands and then failing to change gloves.
  • Egg wash, pooled eggs, corned beef, corned beef hash, ham, cut tomatoes and turkey were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. The foods were iced down.
  • Raw eggs were stored over cooked turkey, raw liver was stored over vegetables, cooked rice was stored with raw fish and raw chicken and beef were stored over bread.
  • There was moldy cilantro hanging from a bag in a walk-in cooler. A stop sale was issued.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade. An employee cleaned the blade.
  • Hot water was not provided at a handwash sink in the women’s restroom.
  • A soda gun was soiled.

Jimmy John’s, 83 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota

  • An employee began working with food or clean items without first washing hands.
  • The ice chute on a self-service drink machine was soiled with mold-like substance/slime.
  • There was limescale buildup inside of an ice machine.
  • An employee with an ineffective hair restraint was engaged in food preparation.
  • The floor of a walk-in cooler was soiled.
  • A manager lacked proof of food manager certification.

The Granary, 2547 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch

  • A cook was observed cracking raw eggs and the handling a spatula without first washing hands.
  • An employee was observed washing hands without soap.
  • A handwashing sink at the bar was used as a dump sink for ice.
  • A garbage can was blocking employee access to a handwash sink.
  • A sanitizer bucket was stored on a cutting board.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade.

Taco Bell, 8405 Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota

  • An employee used the bathroom without washing hands and then engaged in food preparation or handled clean equipment.
  • Cooking oil was stored on the floor. Corrective action was taken.
  • Diced tomatoes, multiple servings of pico de gallo and guacamole were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • An ice chute at the drive-thru window was soiled with mold-like substance/slime.
  • An ice chute on a self-service drink machine was soiled with mold-like substance/slime.
  • There was no proof of required training for an employee hired more than 60 days prior.

Finger Lickin’ BBQ Bar & Grill, 3142 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton

  • The ceiling was dirty.
  • Floor drains/drain covers were heavily soiled.
  • Cases of food were stored on the floor of a walk-in freezer.
  • The restaurant’s hood ventilation system was inadequate, according to an inspector. There was an accumulation of grease on the walls and ceiling.
  • Shredded mozzarella and cheddar, hard boiled eggs, cooked chicken quarters, raw fish and cooked ribs were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.

  • Raw chicken was stored over cooked food.
  • Raw meats in a walk-in cooler were not properly separated based upon minimum required cooking time. Corrective action was taken.
  • There was no proof of required training for an employee hired more than 60 days prior.
  • Cooked chicken, cooked pork and cream pie were not properly date-marked.

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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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Ryan Ballogg covers arts, entertainment, dining, breaking and local news for the Bradenton Herald. He won first place for feature writing in the Florida Press Club’s 2018 Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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