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Dirty dining: Moldy food, dead bugs among violations at Bradenton-area restaurants

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 inspection report, several Manatee County restaurants had issues with properly sanitizing dishes and equipment.

Also, a Bradenton restaurant had signs of insect activity on site.

Hungry Howie’s Pizza and Salad Bar, 1705 Eighth Ave. W., Palmetto

  • Ice chutes on a self-service drink machine were soiled. An employee cleaned the ice chutes.
  • Dish machine sanitizer was not at the proper minimum strength. Corrective action was taken.
  • A handwashing sink was not accessible for employee use due to items stored inside. Corrective action was taken.
  • A soda gun at the bar area was soiled.
  • Two large cans of white chili were dented at the seam. A stop sale was issued.
  • The ceiling, ceiling tiles and/or vents were soiled over a warewashing area.

Wendy’s, 5904 20th St. E., Ellenton

  • Vanilla dairy mixture in an ice cream hopper was cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, guacamole, Swiss cheese and broccoli that had been removed from temperature control had no time stamp. During a follow-up visit the next day, an inspector observed feta and Asiago cheese with no time stamp assessed.
  • Hot water did not reach 100 degrees at two handwash sinks.
  • A spray bottle containing a toxic substance was not labeled.

Salem’s Fresh Eats, 5635 14th St. W., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed dry dead bug debris in a cabinet at the front counter.
  • An inspector observed cheesecake with a green, mold-like growth on the surface. The cheesecake was discarded.
  • Open cheesecake in a display cooler had no date marking.
  • Sliced tomatoes, and cheesecake were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. Corrective action was taken.
  • A frying basket was not being sanitized.
  • The ceiling, ceiling tiles and/or vents over the cook line were soiled with accumulated dust.
  • Reach-in cooler shelves were pitted with rust.
  • Wiping cloth sanitizing solution was not a the proper minimum strength. Corrective action was taken.
  • A manager lacked proof of food manager certification.
  • There was no proof of required training for an employee hired more than 60 days ago.
  • No currently certified food manager was on duty while four or more employees were engaged in food preparation or handling.
  • No probe thermometer was at hand to measure the temperature of food products.

Outback Steakhouse, 4402 Cortez Road W., Bradenton

  • Hard boiled eggs were cold held at a temperature greater than 41 degrees. A manager moved the eggs to a freezer for rapid cooling.
  • An employee with long fingernails was preparing food.
  • Employee training was expired for one employee.
  • A soda gun and its holster were soiled at the bar, according to an inspector.
  • Lobster was stored uncovered in a walk-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.
  • The wall near a beer keg cooler was souled with accumulated grease, food debris and/or dust.
  • The establishment had no Heimlich maneuver/choking sign posted.
  • In-use tongs were stored on an equipment door handle in between uses. A manager removed the tongs.
  • Employees with no hair restraints were engaged with food preparation.
  • Employee items were stored on the cook line and in a dry storage area. The items were moved.
  • There was an accumulation of debris inside a warewashing machine.

Peach’s Restaurant, 3201 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton

  • Boxes of meat and ice cream were stored uncovered in a walk-in freezer. A manager covered the items.
  • Unwashed cantaloupe was stored over liquid eggs. Corrective action was taken.
  • Dish machine sanitizer was not at the proper minimum strength. Corrective action was taken.
  • An employee was observed touching raw chicken and then touching a measuring cup without changing gloves or washing hands. An inspector educated the employee regarding proper raw food handling and the employee took the cup to be cleaned.
  • Cut melon, tuna salad, chicken salad and deli meat were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees on the cook line. The items were moved to a cooler for rapid cooling.
  • Hollandaise was hot held on a steam table at a temperature less than 135 degrees. It was moved to a stove for reheating.
  • There was an encrusted material on a can opener blade. Corrective action was taken.
  • A hand wash sink had inadequate water pressure for handwashing, according to an inspector.

Central Cafe, 906 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton

  • Cooked shrimp and cooked pork were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees. Corrective action was taken.
  • Cooked asparagus, cooked corn, cooked brussels sprouts, veggie burger, raw beef, lobster salad, raw tuna and raw chicken that were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees.
  • Unwashed asparagus was stored inside a container of scalloped potatoes. An employee moved the asparagus.
  • There was no certified food manager for the establishment.
  • No currently certified food manager was on duty while four or more employees were engaged in food preparation or handling.
  • Butter was stored at room temperature on the cook line with no written procedure in place for use of time as a public health control for potentially hazardous food. Corrective action was taken.
  • An employee was observed touching ready-to-eat french fries with bare hands. Corrective action was taken.
  • A cutting board had cut marks and was no longer cleanable.

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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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