Food & Drink

Dirty dining: An infected employee. Raw fish touching food. And more issues at area restaurants

During the most recent inspections of Manatee County, an inspector found that a restaurant operator failed to report that an employee had been diagnosed with a contagious infection.

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

Here’s what inspectors found.

Mojos Real Cuban, 11161 State Road 70 E. #103, Lakewood Ranch

  • The food service manager or person in charge failed to notify the Division of Hotels and Restaurants that an employee had been diagnosed with Salmonella Typhi, shigella, E-coli, hepatitis A virus or norovirus. The inspector’s report did not specify which type of infection the employee had.
  • Multiple employees were observed putting on gloves without first washing hands. An inspector educated the restaurant operator on proper procedure.
  • Red beans, yellow rice, ropa vieja and white rice were hot held at temperatures less than 135 degrees. The foods had been held for about six hours. A stop sale was issued.
  • Rice was being allowed to cool at ambient temperature.
  • A pan was blocking access to a handwash sink. Corrective action was taken.
  • The restaurant had the wrong test kit for the type of sanitizer in use for warewashing.
  • There was no proof of requires training for an employee hired more than 60 days prior.
  • Single-use containers were not stored protected from contamination. Corrective action was taken.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Eat Here, 5315 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach

  • Dishmachine sanitizer was not at the proper minimum strength. Corrective action was taken.
  • A scratch pad was stored inside of a handwash sink. The item was removed.
  • Public health control process paperwork was not being kept onsite at the restaurant. An inspector advised the manager that the written procedures must be kept onsite.
  • Raw/undercooked animal food was offered at the establishment without a written consumer advisory. An inspector provided a consumer advisory to management.

  • An employee with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation. The employee put on a hat.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

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.

Lucky Star, 4462 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • Food that a restaurant operator said had been prepared the day before for the current day had no date-marking.
  • At least one cutting board on the cook line was stained/soiled.
  • Ready-to-eat broccoli was not properly separated from unwashed mushrooms. The mushrooms were moved to a different area.
  • An exterior door had a gap at the threshold that opened to the outside.

  • There was heavy soiling on equipment throughout the kitchen area, according to an inspector.

  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Vinny’s Italian Kitchen, 5337 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach

  • Garlic and oil mixture was being stored at room temperature. A restaurant operator moved it to a reach-in cooler.
  • Raw eggs were stored over cooked food in a reach-in cooler. The eggs were moved to the bottom shelf.
  • A handwash sink was no accessible for employee use due to items stored inside. Corrective action was taken.
  • No soap was provided at an employee handwash sink. Corrective action was taken.
  • The restaurant met inspection standards.

Lovin Oven, 3506 First St., Bradenton

  • An employee was observed handling soiled dishes or utensils and then handling clean dishes or utensils without washing hands. Corrective action was taken.

  • Multiple shredded cheeses were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.

  • String beans, baked beans and macaroni and cheese were hot held at temperatures less than 135 degrees.

  • Raw eggs where stored directly over pickles in a reach-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.

  • Hot water at an employee handwash sink did not reach 100 degrees.

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

  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Blue Dolphin Cafe, 5370 Gulf of Mexico Dr. # 101, Longboat Key

  • Raw fish was stored over ready-to-eat food in a walk-in freezer.
  • The restaurant operator was not properly tracking/marking the number of days that ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous foods (beans and fruit) prepared onsite was held at refrigeration temperatures prior to freezing in order to properly date mark the food when it was thawed and held at refrigeration temperatures again.

  • There was a soil residue buildup on the lip of an ice machine, according to an inspector.

  • A follow-up inspection was required.

China 1, 3236 E. Bay Dr., Holmes Beach

  • An inspector observed raw eggs stored over raw scallops and raw beef and raw chicken stored over sauces and cut vegetables in a walk-in cooler.
  • A bucket of soy sauce and jug of oil were stored on the floor in the kitchen, and raw scallops were stored on the floor of a walk-in cooler.

  • There was grease accumulated on the kitchen floor under a fryer.

  • Non-food-grade bags were in direct contact with food in a reach-in freezer, and they were used as meat covers in a walk-in cooler.

  • A handwash sink was blocked by a garbage can and not accessible for employee use.

  • The restaurant operator was not properly tracking/marking the number of days that ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous food (meat) prepared onsite was held at refrigeration temperatures prior to freezing in order to properly date mark the food when it was thawed and held at refrigeration temperatures again.

  • All of the foods in a walk-in cooler were missing date-markings, according to an inspector.

  • A follow-up inspection was required.

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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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