Food & Drink

Dirty dining: Inspectors shut down popular waterfront restaurant for 3rd time in 7 weeks

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, Sea Hut Restaurant in Palmetto was temporarily shut down when an inspector found signs of rodent and insect activity and bad smells inside the restaurant.

Other Bradenton-area restaurants were cited for issues including dead roaches on site and failing to provide a consumer advisory for raw and undercooked foods.

Here’s what inspectors found:

Sea Hut Restaurant, 5611 U.S. 19, Palmetto

  • An inspector ordered the restaurant be temporarily shut down on July 10 after finding signs of rodent and insect activity inside the establishment. The restaurant also was temporarily shut down on May 23 and June 20 because of similar violations.
  • An inspector observed seven rodent droppings around a dish machine.
  • An inspector observed seven flying insects, including three on the cook line.
  • There were objectionable odors coming from the men’s and women’s restrooms, according to an inspector.
  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses. Corrective action was taken.
  • A sanitizer bucket was stored on a food prep table where it could have contaminated food or utensils.
  • Wiping cloth sanitizing solution exceeded the maximum concentration allowed.
  • Shellfish tags were not marked with the last date that the food was served.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade. An employee cleaned it.
  • A door was broken on a reach-in cooler used to store fish on the cook line.
  • Cooked ribs, shrimp, lobster, crab, chicken, lettuce, shredded cheese and Muenster cheese were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued and an inspector ordered that the foods be discarded.
  • There was accumulated grease on the floor at the cook line.
  • Cardboard was used as ceiling tile.
  • Two cutting boards had cut marks and were no longer cleanable.
  • During a follow up inspection on July 11, an inspector observed eight flying insects at the bar area. The restaurant met inspection standards and was allowed to reopen.

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Yuniku Sushi & Seafood Buffet, 8341 Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota

  • An inspector observed one dead roach on site.
  • An inspector observed one roach egg on a storage shelf. The egg was discarded.
  • There was an accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of an ice machine.
  • A wall was soiled with an accumulation of black debris in the warewashing area.
  • Raw tuna and krab used for sushi were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. The tuna had been stored in a holding unit overnight; a stop sale was issued and it was discarded. The krab was moved to a refrigerator.
  • Sushi rice, crawfish, white rice, baby clam, sweet chicken, dumplings and fried shrimp were hot held at temperatures less than 135 degrees.
  • A wet wiping cloth at the sushi bar was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses. Corrective action was taken.
  • Sanitizer for manual dishwashing was not at the proper minimum strength.
  • A cook was observed washing in-use utensils without sanitizing them.
  • The 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 or handling.
  • There was no proof of required training for an employee hired more than 60 days ago, and another employee’s training was expired.
  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink.
  • The establishment offered raw or undercooked oysters and had no written consumer advisory.
  • Clam tags were not marked with the last date the shellfish was served.
  • Open milk was not properly date-marked.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade.
  • Customers were scooping ice cream from unprotected ice cream bins on the buffet line.

  • An in-use knife was stored in a crack between pieces of equipment. Corrective action was taken.
  • Clams and a box of food were stored on the floor of a walk-in freezer. 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.

The Seafood Shack, 4110 127th St. W., Cortez

  • An inspector observed a dead roach in a storage area. The roach was discarded.
  • No handwash sign was provided at a sink used by food employees. An employee made a sign and posted it.
  • An inspector observed black mold on the walls in a dishwashing area.
  • Raw shrimp was cold held at a temperature greater than 41 degrees. The shrimp was iced down.
  • Shellfish tags were not marked with the last date the food was served.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade. A manager cleaned it.
  • A stop sale was issued for large cans of ketchup and marinara sauce that were dented.
  • A cutting board was green, had cut marks and was no longer cleanable.
  • In-use tongs were stored on an equipment door handle in between uses. The tongs were removed.
  • Required training was expired for two employees.

Subway, 8408 N. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota

  • Meatballs were hot held at a temperature less than 135 degrees. The food was reheated.
  • Egg whites, veggie patties, Swiss cheese and guacamole were cold held at temperatures less than 41 degrees. The foods were moved to a walk-in cooler.
  • Reach-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust.

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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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