Food & Drink

Dirty dining: Roaches and flies shut down this Mexican restaurant in Bradenton

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.

During the most recent inspections of Manatee County restaurants, Mr. Tequila in Bradenton was temporarily shut down when roach and fly activity were observed on site.

Other restaurants were cited when employees failed to wash hands, food measured at unsafe temperatures and raw foods were stored over ready-to-eat foods.

Here’s what inspectors found.

Mr. Tequila, 491 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • An inspector ordered that Mr. Tequila be temporarily shut down on Sep. 5 after observing roach and fly activity on site.
  • An inspector observed four live roaches throughout the restaurant, including near cooking equipment.

  • An inspector observed approximately seven live flies near a paper towel dispenser at a wait station.
  • Black beans that had been prepared a week prior were still in use, according to an inspector. A restaurant operator discarded the food.
  • Sliced tomatoes, raw chicken and raw beef were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. An inspector advised icing down the foods.
  • Queso was left at room temperature to cool, and broth in a cold holding unit was not being cooled quickly enough.

  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade.
  • An employee handwash sink was not usable due to items stored inside. Corrective action was taken.
  • No soap was provided at an employee handwash sink at the bar.
  • No test kit was hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use for warewashing.
  • There was no proof of required training for any employees.
  • There was an accumulation of debris on a warewashing machine.
  • A case of food was stored on the floor of a walk-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.
  • The ceiling was dirty.
  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses.
  • The restaurant was allowed to reopen after a follow-up inspection of Sep. 6. However, another follow-up inspection was required.
  • Mr. Tequila met inspection standards during a follow-up visit on Sep. 9.

Taco Bell, 6310 S.R. 70, Bradenton

  • Shredded cheddar cheese and coleslaw were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A restaurant operator moved the foods to the interior of a walk-in cooler.
  • The ice chute on a self service drink machine had a buildup of mold-like substance/slime.
  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink in the men’s restroom.

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.

Mr. and Mrs. Crab, 497 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • Raw shrimp, clams, mussels and crab legs were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. An inspector advised icing down the foods and lowering the temperature at the reach-in cooler.
  • Raw eggs were stored on top of potatoes in a walk-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.
  • No currently certified food manager was on duty while four or more employees were engaged in food preparation and/or handling.

  • A reach-in cooler had shelves that were pitted with rust.

5th Season Diner and Lounge, 6515 14th St. W., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed a cook cut and plate ready-to-eat food with bare hands, eat some of the food and then deliver the plate to a customer.

  • In a separate incident, a cook touched cooked food while plating it.

  • A server was observed plating toast with bare hands.

  • A server was observed handling grapes with bare hands.

  • No handwashing sign was provided at an employee handwash sink.

  • An employee was observed washing hands without using soap.

  • Sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, blue cheese, pancake and corn beef were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. Corrective action was taken.

  • Butter was being held at room temperature. Corrective action was taken.

  • Raw steak was stored over cooked pulled pork in a walk-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.

  • Pico de gallo, tuna salad and chicken salad that were prepared more than a week prior were still in use, according to an inspector. During a follow-up inspection the next day, diced ham that was prepared more than a week prior was still in use. A restaurant operator discarded it.

  • Raw eggs were being held at a temperature greater than 45 degrees.

  • A probe therometer was not accurate.

  • Spaghetti in a walk-in cooler was not properly date-marked. Corrective action was taken.

  • A wall near a smoker was soiled with accumulated grease, food debris and/or dust.

  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses.

  • An in-use utensil was stored in standing water at less than 135 degrees.

  • Dishmachine sanitizer was not at the proper minimum strength.

  • The ceiling was dirty.
  • Reach-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust.
  • Coffee filters were stored unprotected from contamination.

Lucky Pelican Bistro, 6239 Lake Osprey Drive, Sarasota

  • Containers of sour cream were stored on the floor of a walk-in cooler, and bread was stored on the floor of a walk-in freezer. A manager shelved the items.
  • A server was observed picking up dirty dishes from a table and then filling drinks without first washing hands. The employee and a manager were instructed on proper handwashing procedure.
  • An employee was observed touching raw shrimp and the touching a clean plate without washing hands and putting on new gloves. The employee and a manager were instructed on proper handwashing procedure.
  • A spray bottle containing a toxic substance was stored with a clean pan in a warewashing area. Corrective action was taken.
  • Shellfish tags were not being properly maintained.
  • All of the cutting boards on the cook line were stained and soiled.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade.
  • Chemicals were stored in an employee handwash sink. A manager removed them.

  • An ice scoop was stored on top of a dirty ice machine in between uses, according to an inspector.
  • In-use tongs were stored on an equipment door handle in between uses. They were removed.
  • An in-use wet wiping cloth was under a cutting board. A manager removed it.
  • Fish was thawing in standing water. An inspector educated a manager on proper thawing procedures, and cold running water was turned on over the fish.
  • Raw salmon, scallops and mahi mahi were stored over produce in a walk-in cooler. The produce was moved to a different shelf.
  • Single service items were stored outside. Corrective action was taken.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were soiled with encrusted food debris.
  • A wall in a dishwashing area was soiled with accumulated black debris.

  • A wall in a dry storage area was dirty.
  • Ceiling tiles and/or vents were soiled in the dining area and above the cook line.

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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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