Business

Dirty dining: Rodent droppings force family restaurant to temporarily shut down

Kostas Family Restaurant in Palmetto temporarily was closed last week after an inspector found evidence of rodent activity.

Other Bradenton-area restaurants were cited for moldy equipment and flying insects.

Kostas Family Restaurant, 1631 8th Ave. W., Palmetto

  • An inspector ordered that Kostas Family Restaurant be temporarily closed on Dec. 5 after finding evidence of rodent activity.

  • Approximately 55 dry and hard rodent droppings were observed throughout the restaurant, including at the bar, in the kitchen and under a dish machine. During a follow-up inspection the next day, an inspector observed approximately 25 dry and hard rodent droppings throughout the restaurant.

  • Bottles of cooking oil were stored on the floor in the kitchen and in a walk-in cooler.

  • The ceiling was soiled with accumulated food debris, grease, dust or mold-like substance.

  • An inspector observed an air condition vent ajar in the kitchen above the cook line and two ceiling tiles with holes near a walk-in cooler and walk-in freezer.

  • Cream was cold held at a temperature greater than 41 degrees.

  • Wiping cloth sanitizer solution exceeded the maximum concentration allowed.

  • There was an accumulation of green/black mold-like substance inside of an ice bin.

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

  • A container of milk was not properly date-marked.

  • There was no proof of required training for three employees hired more than 60 days ago.

  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink in an employee restroom.

  • The restaurant passed a second Dec. 6 follow-up inspection and was allowed to reopen.

Quarter a Cup Cafe, 5911 53rd Ave. E., Bradenton

  • There was an accumulation of black/green mold inside an ice bin, according to an inspector.
  • The ceiling in the kitchen was soiled with accumulated food debris, grease, dust or mold-like substance.
  • Diced ham was cold held at a temperature greater than 41 degrees.
  • The certified food manager or person in charge lacked knowledge of foodborne illness and symptoms of illness that would prevent an employee from working with food.

  • The food manager’s certification was expired.

  • No currently certified food manager was on duty while four employees were engaged in food preparation or handling.

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

  • Coffee filters were not stored protected from contamination.

  • An inspector observed an employee handle soiled dishes or utensils and then handle clean dishes or utensils without first washing hands. Corrective action was taken.

  • The establishment was operating without a license from the Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

  • Cooking oil was stored on the floor in the kitchen. Corrective action was taken.

  • The hot water at a wait station handwash sink did not reach 100 degrees.

  • There was no test kit at hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use at a three-compartment sink/warewashing machine.

  • A probe thermometer was not accurate. The thermometer was discarded.

  • An inspector observed gravy that was not properly date marked.

  • Walk-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust.

  • A wall was soiled with accumulated grease, food debris and/or dust throughout the kitchen and the warewashing area.

  • Wiping cloth sanitizing solution exceeded the maximum concentration allowed.


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Verona Pizza and Italian Restaurant, 5257 33rd St. E., Bradenton

  • The ceiling was soiled with accumulated food debris, grease, dust or mold-like substance, according to an inspector.
  • An employee with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation.
  • There was no handwashing sign at a sink used by food employees.
  • Meatballs were hot held at a temperature less than 135 degrees. Corrective action was taken.
  • Marinara sauce was cold held at a temperature greaterthan 41 degrees.
  • Warewashing sanitizing solution exceeded the maximum conetration allowed.
  • Milk that had been open for approximately two days had no date marking, according to an inspector.

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, 2515 University Parkway, Unit 101, Sarasota

  • The ice chute on a self-service drink machine was soiled with mold-like substance/slime.
  • An inspector observed a dishwasher handle soiled dishes or utensils and then handle clean dishes or utensils without first washing hands. Corrective action was taken.
  • Ceiling tiles/vents were soiled with accumulated dust at the kitchen.
  • The floor in the cook line area was soiled.
  • There was limescale build-up inside of an ice machine.
  • Walls in the cook line area, preparation area and near the dish machine were soiled with accumulated grease, food debris and/or dust.
  • There was no proof of required training for a prep cook hired more than 60 days ago.

Fire & Stone Pizza, 10519 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed two flies at a handwash sink drain near an ice cream machine.
  • There was a build-up of mold-like substance on a soda dispenser in the wait area.
  • There was food debris on the mixer head and base of a dough making machine in the kitchen.
  • Employee beverages were commingled with single service items at the wait station, according to an inspector.
  • A 50 pound bag of flour and single service items were stored on the floor in an exterior dry storage area. Cases of food were stored on the floor in a walk-in freezer. Corrective action was taken.
  • A cutting board at a pizza make station had cut marks and was no longer cleanable.

Subway, 4270 53rd Ave. E., Unit 203, Bradenton

  • Pulled rotisserie chicken, diced teriyaki chicken, shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese and cooked chicken patties were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • An ice chute on a self-service drink machine was soiled with mold-like substance/slime.
  • An employee was using a ineffective hair restraint while engaged in food preparation.
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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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