Food & Drink

Dirty dining: Roach at the yogurt shop. Rats at the pizza place. That wasn’t all inspectors found

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 had evidence of pests living on site.

A handful of Bradenton-area eateries were cited for holding food at unsafe temperatures.

Here’s what inspectors found:

Fratello’s Chicago Pizzeria, 7110 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed approximately five rodent droppings near a kitchen entrance. A restaurant operator discarded the droppings and cleaned the area.
  • Tomatoes, multiple servings of deli meat, cooked sausage, Swiss cheese, American cheese, butter, shredded cheese, pasta, vodka sauce, and marsala gravy were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. Several of the items had been held overnight and were voluntarily discarded. The others were iced down or relocated for rapid cooling.
  • Warewashing solution exceeded the maximum concentration allowed. Corrective action was taken.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade. Corrective action was taken.
  • No soap was provided at an employee handwash sink at the bar. Corrective action was taken.

BEHIND OUR REPORTING

Why did we report this story?

Each week, the Bradenton Herald reviews data of restaurants that have been recently inspected in Manatee County. Local public health departments regularly inspect businesses serving food to ensure restaurants and other food retail outlets are following safe food handling procedures.

Yogurt Mountain, 1526 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed at least one live roach. A roach was killed and discarded.
  • Approximately six flying insects were observed on site.
  • Cookies and cream yogurt, birthday cake yogurt and tart yogurt were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued for the frozen yogurts, and a restaurant operator lowered the temperature at the cooling unit.
  • A manager lacked proof of food manager certification, and no other certified food service manager was employed at the location.
  • No probe thermometer was at hand to measure the temperature of food products.

Sea Star Cafe, 11544 Palmbrush Trail, Bradenton

  • Raw fish was thawing at room temperature on a counter. It was moved to a walk-in cooler.
  • Cut tomatoes, tomatoes, feta cheese, liquid eggs, cut spinach, tuna salad, fish fillet and ground meat were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • In-use tongs were stored on an equipment door handle between uses. Corrective action was taken.
  • There was grease accumulated around a fryer.
  • A spray bottle containing a toxic substance was not labeled. Corrective action was taken.
  • An employee drink was stored on a food preparation table. Corrective action was taken.

Mountain Comforts Coffee Cafe, 3550 53rd Ave. W., Bradenton

  • Cut tomatoes, cooked sausage, turkey, ham, corned beef hash, egg wash, coleslaw, liquid eggs, cut lettuce and cooked sausage were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued, and a restaurant operator discarded the foods.
  • An open container of milk was not properly date-marked. Corrective action was taken.
  • A handwash sink was used as a dump sink for ice. Corrective action was taken.
  • No written procedures were available for use of time as a public health control to hold potentially hazardous food. Cooked onions and raw eggs were being held at room temperature with no process in place. An inspector provided the proper paperwork.
  • Two jugs of oil were stored on the floor near the cook line. The oil was shelved.

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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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