Food & Drink

Dirty dining: Inspectors cite these popular seafood restaurants for numerous issues

During the most recent inspections of Manatee County, area seafood restaurants were cited for issues including live insects on site, unsafe dishwashing and improper storage of shellfish.

Several other Bradenton restaurants were found to be storing food at unsafe temperatures.

Here’s what inspectors found.

Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen, 5325 Marina Drive, Holmes Beach

  • An inspector observed approximately three flying insects in the bar area.
  • Shellfish was not marked with the last date that it was served.
  • Shellfish tags were not stored in chronological order according to the last date that the food was served. An employee ordered labels.
  • A handwash sink was not accessible for employee use due to items stored inside. Corrective action was taken.
  • In-use utensils were stored in standing water at a temperature less than 135 degrees. The items were removed from service.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Cortez Kitchen, 4528 119th St. W., Cortez

  • Raw grouper and raw calamari that had been cold held overnight measured at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued and an employee voluntarily discarded the seafood.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Cortez Cafe, 12108 Cortez Road W., Cortez

  • An employee was observed washing and rinsing dishes without sanitizing them. An inspector educated the employee regarding proper sanitization requirements.
  • Raw shell eggs were being held at room temperature on the cook line, and pooled eggs were being cold held at a temperature greater than 41 degrees. An inspector educated an employee regarding proper food safety.
  • Ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous foods that had been prepared on site and held for more than 24 hours in a reach-in cooler and reach-in freezers were not properly date-marked, according to an inspector.
  • No soap was provided at an employee handwash sink. Corrective action was taken.
  • A scratch pad was stored in an employee handwash sink. The item was removed.
  • No currently certified food manager was on duty while four or more employees were engaged in food preparation/handling.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.


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.

Mocha Joe’s Cafe, 3633 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • Butter and corn beef hash were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. The foods were discarded.
  • Chili dated more than a week old was found in a walk-in cooler. The food was discarded.
  • A cook at a prep station was not wearing a hair restraint.
  • A cook on the cook line was using a dry, soiled towel for hand wiping.
  • A cook was observed taking a drink from a cup and then going back to work without washing hands. Corrective action was taken.
  • Sewage/wastewater was backed up in a mop sink at the exterior of the restaurant.

  • Ice and potatoes were stored on the floor of a walk-in cooler/freezer.
  • A power sprayer was stored with food and dishware, according to an inspector.

  • Machine oil was stored near a slicer at a prep table.

  • Wiping cloth sanitizer solution exceeded the maximum concentration allowed.

  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade.

  • A slicer blade guard was soiled with old food debris.

  • No test kit was hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use for warewashing.

  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Subway, 3541 First St. E., Bradenton

  • Sliced tomatoes, chicken breast, bologna and tuna salad were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. An inspector advised the restaurant operator to lower the temperature at the cold holding unit.
  • The 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.
  • Sanitizer in use for manual warewashing was not at the proper minimum strength. Corrective action was taken.
  • There was no test kit at hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use for warewashing.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were soiled with encrusted food debris.
  • The restaurant met inspection standards.

Rico’s Pizzeria & Pasta House, 14435 State Road 70, Bradenton

  • Garlic in oil, cooked vegetables, chicken stock, meat sauce, butter, heavy cream, cooked eggplant, lasagna, chicken, pasta, calamari and cheese were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued for all of the food items.
  • A handwash sink was blocked by a table not accessible for employee use. Corrective action was taken.
  • No test kit was at hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use for warewashing.
  • The floor was soiled under a fryer and near the cook line.
  • An employee was engaged in food preparation without a proper hair restraint.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

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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