Business

Dirty dining: Menus listed Maryland crab cake, mahi-mahi. That’s not what diners were getting

A statewide look at Florida’s top restaurant violations for 2017-18

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 2017-18 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 2017-18 in Florida restaurant kitchens.

According to the latest inspections report, several Manatee County restaurants had problems maintaining clean kitchens and equipment.

Also, a Bradenton Beach restaurant was cited for misrepresenting several seafood items on the menu.

Gulf Drive Cafe, 900 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach

  • An inspector observed two dishes that were misrepresented on the restaurant’s menu. The menu listed Maryland crab cakes, but the crab in the walk-in cooler was from China. The menu also listed fish tacos made with mahi-mahi, but there was no mahi-mahi on the premises. A manager stated that the restaurant uses grouper instead. There was grouper on site.
  • Pet dogs were permitted in the outdoor dining area without a local ordinance that allowed it. A manager asked the pet owners to remove the dogs from the premises.
  • A dishmachine was not washing or working properly, according to an inspector.
  • An employee phone was stored on the cook line. Corrective action was taken.
  • There were holes throughout the ceiling in a wait area and a preparation area.
  • Raw shrimp, raw chicken, raw beef, raw grouper, turkey, cut tomatoes, soup, marinara sauce, provolone cheese, coleslaw and cooked potatoes were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A manager moved all of the food to a walk-in freezer or iced them down for rapid cooling.

Mattison’s City Grille Bradenton Riverwalk, 101 Riverfront Blvd., Bradenton

  • There was a buildup of debris, dust or dirt on the bottom of a beer cooler at the bar. Corrective action was taken.
  • There was a buildup of mold-like substance on the interior walls of a walk-in cooler used to store meat and a walk-in cooler used to store soup and salad.
  • An employee with no beard guard/restraint was cutting raw beef, according to an inspector.
  • An inspector observed an accumulation of liquid at the bottom of a reach-in cooler.
  • In-use tongs were stored on an oven door handle in between uses. Corrective action was taken.
  • Coleslaw and gumbo were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A stop sale was issued and the foods were discarded.
  • Unwashed produce was stored over ready-to-eat food.
  • Bison that was date-marked more than a week old was stored in a walk-in cooler. The food was discarded.
  • There were no written procedures for use of time as public health control to hold potentially hazardous food. Butter on the cook line was being held at room temperature.

Oma’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant, 201 Gulf Dr. N., Bradenton Beach

  • Tomato sauce, shredded cheese, milk and provolone cheese were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. A restaurant operator moved the items to refrigeration.
  • There was soil residue on a reach-in cooler at a pizza make station.
  • There was an accumulation of grease on the kitchen floor.

Stone Bowl Pan Asian Kitchen, 5516 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton

  • An employee phone was stored in a food preparation area. A manager removed the phone.
  • An ice scoop handle was in contact with the ice. Corrective action was taken.
  • Over the counter medicine was stored on top of a microwave. Corrective action was taken.
  • A cutting board on the cook line was stained/soiled.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade. An employee cleaned the can opener.
  • Two handwash sinks were not accessible for employee use due to scratch pads stored inside. The times were removed.
  • There were no written procedures available for use of time as a public health control in holding a potentially hazardous food. An inspector observed sushi rice being held at 110 degrees with no written process in place. The inspector educated the restaurant operator regarding proper procedure.

Shanghai Restaurant, 7226 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton

  • Soup with no lid was hot held at a temperature less than 135 degrees. Corrective action was taken.
  • No soap was provided at a handwash sink in a restroom. Corrective action was taken.
  • Food stored in a walk-in cooler was not properly date-marked.
  • An exterior door had a gap at the threshold that opened to the outside.
  • A bowl with no handle was used to dispense cooked rice. The bowl was removed from the rice.

Taco Bell, 8347 S.R. 64, Bradenton

  • The ice chute on a self-service drink machine was soiled mold-like substance/slime.
  • A manager lacked proof of food manager certification.
  • The floor was soiled in a soda storage area.
  • Floor drains/drain covers near a three-compartment sink were heavily soiled.

Tara Golf and Country Club, 6602 Drewrys Bluff, Bradenton

  • During a follow-up visit for previous issues, an inspector again observed foods held at unsafe temperatures. Sauerkraut, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, cut cherry tomatoes, diced tomatoes, crumbled blue cheese and hard boiled eggs were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.

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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.

Ryan Ballogg covers arts, entertainment, dining, breaking and local news for the Bradenton Herald. He won first place for feature writing in the Florida Press Club’s 2018 Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.


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