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Dirty dining: Rodent activity temporarily shuts down another Bradenton-area restaurant

A statewide look at Florida’s top restaurant violations for 2016-17

Restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. Here are the top ten violations inspectors found between 2016-17 in Florida restaurant kitchens.
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Restaurant inspections ensure food retail establishments are in compliance with state sanitation and food safety procedures. Here are the top ten violations inspectors found between 2016-17 in Florida restaurant kitchens.

Sunshine Caribbean Restaurant in Sarasota was temporarily closed after rodent activity was observed, according to inspection reports.

That makes it the third Manatee County restaurant to be temporarily closed because of rodent activity in three weeks.

Other Bradenton-area restaurants were cited for handwashing issues and lack of proof of employee training.

Sunshine Caribbean Restaurant, 6320 15th St. E., Sarasota

  • An inspector ordered that Sunshine Caribbean Restaurant be temporarily closed on Dec. 18 after observing signs of rodent activity.
  • Approximately 27 dry and hard rodent droppings were observed under the front counter, and approximately 10 dry and hard rodent droppings were observed in the kitchen under a preparation table.
  • There were two dead roaches on site. Corrective action was taken.
  • A cutting board had cut marks and was no longer cleanable.
  • There was an accumulation of grease on the kitchen floor under cooking equipment.
  • An inspector observed a golf ball-sized hole in a screen cover in a wall behind coolers in the kitchen.
  • There was accumulated grease on the walls/ceiling.
  • Beef shanks and legumes were cold held at temperatures grater than 41 degrees.
  • A thermometer in a holding unit was not accurate.
  • The manager lacked proof of food manager certification.
  • There was no proof of required training for any employees.

  • During a Dec. 19 follow-up visit, an inspector observed approximately three dry and hard rodent droppings on the kitchen floor and the facility remained closed.
  • After a second Dec. 19 visit, the restaurant’s status was listed as “Emergency Order Callback Time Extension,” meaning that the operator was attempting to comply with standards, but was unable to at the time due to “circumstances beyond control.” Another follow-up inspection was required.

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Pita’s Republic, 8215 Tourist Center Dr., Bradenton

  • There was an accumulation of black/green mold-like substance inside of an ice bin.
  • Reach-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust.
  • An employee with no hair restraint was engaged in food preparation.
  • Chlorine sanitizer in use for manual warewashing did not meet proper minimum strength.
  • The establishment’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants license was expired.
  • Shredded cheese, rice-stuffed grape leaves and potato salad were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • 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.

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

McDonald’s, 7300 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • Clean equipment/utensils was not stored at least six inches above the floor. Corrective action was taken.
  • There were no handwashing signs provided at sinks in the men’s and women’s restroom used by food employees. Corrective action was taken.
  • An inspector observed chicken tenders thawing at room temperature. Corrective action was taken.
  • There was a build-up of residue in a reach-in cooler on the cook line. A manager cleaned the cooler.
  • An inspector observed an employee clean the food line and then put on gloves to crack eggs without first washing hands. Corrective action was taken.
  • A handwash sink at a sandwich preparation area was not accessible for employee use due to items stored in the sink. Corrective action was taken.

Jersey Mike’s Subs, 8210 Tourist Center Dr., Bradenton

  • The ice chute of a self-service drink machine was soiled with mold-like substance/slime.
  • An employee was using an ineffective hair restraint while engaged in food preparation. Corrective action was taken.
  • Walk-in cooler shelves were soiled with encrusted food debris, according to an inspector.
  • Wiping cloth sanitizing solution was not at the proper minimum strength. Corrective action was taken.
  • An employee began working with food, handling clean equipment or utensils or touching unwrapped single-service items without first washing hands.
  • Sliced tomatoes, tuna salad, chicken salad, roast beef, Swiss cheese, provolone cheese and ham were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • Meat balls and marinara sauce were hot held at temperatures less than 135 degrees. A stop sale was issued for the foods.
  • There was no proof of required insurance for two employees hired more than 60 days prior.
  • A probe thermometer was no accurate.

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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