Food & Drink

Dirty dining: Inspectors shut down taco truck. Another restaurant had rodent droppings

During the most recent inspections of Manatee County, Taquería Morales, a food truck serving Bradenton, was temporarily shut down when an inspector found that it was operating without potable water due to plumbing issues.

One Bradenton-area restaurant had live flies on site, another had rodent droppings, and at another an inspector observed a food worker tasting their gloved hands after touching marinating chicken.

Here’s what inspectors found.

Taquería Morales, 5645 15th St. E., Bradenton (food truck)

  • An inspector ordered that Taquería Morales be temporarily shut down on Oct. 15 after observing major plumbing issues in the food truck.
  • The establishment was operating with no potable running water. The food truck operator was not putting water in the water tank because a rusted and cracked pipe at the water heater was causing water to leak onto the floor, according to an inspector. The food truck operator put water in the water holding tank and demonstrated that the sinks worked, but water leaked onto the floor at the site of the broken plumbing.
  • No sanitizer of any kind was available for warewashing. The food truck operator obtained chlorine sanitizer.
  • Shredded mozzarella, yellow rice, pico de gallo and chicaron were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • An employee began working without first washing hands.
  • An inspector observed an employee wash hands by dipping them into a bucket of cold standing water. No soap was used.
  • 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.

  • An inspector observed a non-employee enter the food truck kitchen-area to obtain a to-go bag.

  • Pico de gallo in a reach-in cooler was not properly date-marked.

  • During a follow-up visit on Oct. 16, the food truck operator had temporarily placed a bucket to catch water from the leaking pipe. The food truck operator said that a proper repair would be made by the next day.

  • Shredded cheese and cooked onions were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.

  • The food truck was allowed to reopen on Oct. 16. Another follow-up inspection was required.

  • Taquería Morales met inspection standards during a follow-up visit on Oct. 17.

Bridge Tender Inn, 135 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach

  • An inspector observed 18 rodent droppings at an exterior shed where soda boxes are stored.
  • There was an accumulation of black/green mold-like substance inside three ice bins at the exterior of the building. There was also a buildup mold-like substance on the lip of all three machines.
  • Butter was being held at ambient temperature on the cook line. A cook moved it to a grill for hot holding.
  • Beans that had been cold held overnight measured at a temperature greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued and the beans were discarded.
  • A stop sale was issued on three damaged cans of kidney beans.
  • A propane tank was stored above the cook line. An employee moved it to a bottom shelf away from food.
  • Wiping cloth sanitizing solution exceeded the maximum concentration allowed. Corrective action was taken.

  • Walk-in cooler shelves where meat was stored were soiled with food debris.
  • Flour was stored on the kitchen floor. It was shelved.
  • Multiple cooks were not wearing hair restraints while engaged in food preparation. Corrective action was taken.
  • Multiple exterior doors leading to ice machines outside of the restaurant had gaps at the threshold, according to an inspector.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

SketchDaddy’s Wings ‘n Things, 7814 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed a dead roach on the floor under dry storage shelving. An employee discarded it.
  • An inspector observed approximately 10 flying insects under a mop sink at the back of a kitchen.
  • The establishment was using a sanitizer solution for warewashing that did not meet the proper requirements.
  • There was grease accumulated on the kitchen floor and/or under cooking equipment.
  • A back door had a gap at the threshold that opened to the outside.
  • There was grease accumulation on a fryer and a grill.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

South Philly Cheesesteaks, 5442 Lockwood Ridge Road, Bradenton

  • Swiss cheese, provolone cheese and jack and cheddar cheese were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • Open quantities of sliced meat and milk were not properly date marked.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade.
  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution in between uses.
  • Single service articles were store unprotected from contamination.
  • Reach-in freezer gaskets had a slimy/mold-like buildup, according to an inspector.
  • An employee with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation. Corrective action was taken.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

The Island Spice, 3608 E. Bay Drive, Holmes Beach

  • Raw grouper was stored under raw chicken in a walk-in freezer. An employee reorganized the foods according to their required cooking temperatures.
  • Shellfish tags were not maintained in chronological order according to the last date they were served in the establishment.
  • Shellfish tags were not marked with the last date the food was served.
  • The food manager’s certification was expired.
  • Hot water was not provided at a handwash sink on cook line. Corrective action was taken.
  • Multiple sauces in a walk-in cooler were not date-marked, according to an inspector.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust.
  • A box of bread was stored on the floor. Corrective action was taken.
  • 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.

Sam’s Seafood & Grill, 3108 First St., Bradenton

  • Raw chicken was stored over cooked chicken. Corrective action was taken.

  • Sliced tomatoes, sliced provolone cheese, feta cheese and vanilla dairy mixture were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.

  • A toxic substance was stored by or with food. Corrective action was taken.

  • There was no proof of required training for any employees.

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

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

  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Bon Appetit, 3300 First St., Bradenton

  • Pasta salad and legumes were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A restaurant operator turned the walk-in cooler on.
  • White rice, brown beans and rice and black rice were being hot held at temperatures less than 135 degrees.
  • Warewashing sanitizing solution exceeded the maximum concentration allowed.
  • There was no test kit at hand to measure the use of sanitizer in use for warewashing.

  • Wiping cloth sanitizing solution exceeded the maximum concentration allowed.
  • Hot water at a handwash sink on the cook line did not reach 100 degrees.
  • No currently certified food manager was on duty while four or more employees were engaged in food preparation or handling. A certified food manager reported to the establishment during the inspection.
  • There was no proof of required training for four employees.
  • A spray bottle containing a toxic substance was not labeled.
  • An employee was observed tasting gloved hands after handling raw marinating chicken, according to an inspector.
  • Boxed of pumpkins were stored on the kitchen floor and and food was stored on the floor of a walk-in cooler.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Tijuana Flats, 2127 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • Diced tomatoes, shredded cheese and guacamole were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. An inspector advised the restaurant operator to lower the temperature at the unit or use time as a public health control.
  • A handwash sink was not accessible for employee use. Corrective action was taken.
  • A wet wiping cloth was not stored in sanitizing solution between uses. Corrective action was taken.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust and encrusted with food debris.
  • The floor of a walk-in cooler was soiled.
  • Single service items were stored unprotected from contamination. Corrective action was taken.
  • 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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