Food & Drink

Dirty dining: Inspectors find mold, bugs and more at fast-food, chain restaurants

During the most recent inspections of Manatee County restaurants, several fast-food and chain restaurants were cited for issues including moldy equipment and unsafe food temperatures.

Another common issue at these Bradenton-area restaurants was a lack of employee handwashing.

Here’s what inspectors found.

Keke’s Breakfast Cafe, 5405 University Parkway #104, University Park

  • Egg batter was held on the cook line at a temperature greater than 41 degrees. A restaurant operator discarded the batter.
  • A cook was observed putting on gloves without first washing hands. An inspector educated a restaurant operator regarding proper procedure.
  • There was no probe thermometer at hand to measure the temperature of food products.
  • There was no test kit at hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use for warewashing.
  • An inspector observed soil residue in food storage containers on a drying rack. Corrective action was taken.
  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses.
  • The restaurant met inspection standards.

Ruby Tuesday, 8306 Tourist Center Dr., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed multiple employees putting on gloves without first washing hands. A restaurant operator was educated on proper handwashing procedure.
  • Potato salad, ham, shredded cheese, and pasta salad were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees on the buffet line. The foods were removed.
  • Gaskets of reach-in coolers and a walk-in cooler were soiled.
  • A convection oven had an accumulation of debris inside.
  • Coffee filters were not stored protected from contamination. Corrective action was taken.

  • The restaurant met inspection standards.

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.

KFC, 1420 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • The ice chute on a self-service drink machine was soiled with mold-like substance/slime.

  • Walk-in cooler shelves were soiled with encrusted food debris.

  • Vents on the cook line were soiled with accumulated food debris, grease, dust and/or or mold-like substance.

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

  • Soda was stored on the floor.

  • The restaurant met inspection standards.

Panera Bread, 1520 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • A mozzarella log was cold held at a temperature greater than 41 degrees.
  • The ice chute on a self-service drink machine had a buildup of mold-like substance/slime.

  • An employee began working without first washing hands.

  • An employee with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation.

  • The floor of a walk-in freezer was soiled.

  • Cases of food were stored on the floor of a walk-in freezer.

  • Coffee filters were not stored protected from contamination.

  • The restaurant met inspection standards.

Checkers, 5140 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed approximately 10 flying insects at the women’s restroom.
  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink on the cook line.
  • There was a residue buildup on the lip of an ice machine.
  • There was grease accumulated on the floor under a cook station.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.
  • During a follow-up inspection, six flying insects were observed in the women’s restroom. A manager said pest control was in place. Another follow-up inspection was required.

Pizza Hut, 3132 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed a wall soiled with accumulated grease, food debris and/or dust.
  • A wall in the dishwashing area was soiled with accumulated black debris.

  • Walk-in cooler shelves were soiled with encrusted food debris.

  • Reach-in cooler gaskets had a slimy/mold-like buildup.

  • The certified food manager or person in charge lacked knowledge of foodborne illnesses and symptoms of illness that would prevent an employee from working with food.

  • The restaurant met inspection standards.

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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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