Food Safety Concerns in Florida: Recent Restaurant Inspections Reveal Public Health Risks
Florida’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants conducts regular inspections to ensure that food service establishments meet public health and cleanliness standards. These inspections are essential to safeguard the well-being of diners and prevent foodborne illnesses. Recently, a series of inspections have unveiled several restaurants in Bradenton and Sarasota with alarming violations. The reports are public information and have raised concerns about food safety in the region.
Basil’s Chicken & Ribs: License Expired, Grease and Mold Issues
During an inspection on July 25, Basil’s Chicken & Ribs in Bradenton was found operating with an expired license, a high-priority violation. Intermediate violations included the absence of a chemical test kit to measure sanitizer strength and inadequate handling procedures for vomiting or diarrheal events. The inspector also noted three basic violations, such as grease and mold on equipment. These violations pose significant health risks to customers and require immediate corrective actions.
Checkers: Time Monitoring and Handwash Sink Concerns
On July 24, Checkers in Bradenton faced high-priority issues related to the improper monitoring of shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and sliced cheese using time as a public health control. Additionally, the absence of written procedures for handling vomiting or diarrheal events and the lack of paper towels at the handwash sink were deemed intermediate violations. Despite subsequent compliance during a follow-up visit, these initial shortcomings put the public’s health at risk.
China Gourmet: Expired Food Safety Training and Unsanitary Conditions
During an inspection on July 28, China Gourmet in Bradenton displayed expired food safety training for all employees, which is an intermediate violation. Other concerns included an employee washing hands in an unapproved sink and four basic violations, including unclean kitchen equipment and lack of employee hair restraints. Addressing these issues promptly is crucial to maintaining food safety standards.
Cumex Tropical Grill (Food Truck): Lack of Safety Training and Chemical Test Kit
Cumex Tropical Grill, a food truck inspected on July 27, faced several intermediate violations, such as the absence of required food safety training for employees and written procedures for handling vomit or diarrhea incidents. Additionally, the lack of a chemical test kit to measure sanitizer strength and the failure to inform employees about their responsibility to report foodborne illnesses were notable concerns. Immediate action is necessary to protect consumers.
Mr. & Mrs. Crab: Multiple High-Priority and Intermediate Violations
Inspected on July 27, Mr. & Mrs. Crab in Bradenton encountered numerous high-priority and intermediate violations, including inadequate dishmachine sanitizer strength and improper storage of raw shell eggs and raw shrimp. Intermediate violations included the absence of shellfish tags and unlabeled toxic substances. Additionally, the expiration of required food safety training for some employees posed serious health risks.
Origin Craft Beer & Pizza Cafe UTC: Inadequate Safety Training and Handling Procedures
On July 24, Origin Craft Beer & Pizza Cafe UTC in Bradenton faced intermediate violations due to the lack of state-approved food safety training for employees and written procedures for handling vomiting or diarrheal events. The absence of proper communication to report foodborne illnesses and four basic violations further jeopardized food safety.
Tacos el Guero (Food Trucks): Unsanitary Conditions and Lack of Safety Procedures
Both Tacos el Guero food trucks inspected on July 25 in Bradenton exhibited similar shortcomings, including the lack of written procedures for handling vomiting or diarrheal events and failure to inform employees about reporting foodborne illnesses. Basic violations included storing drinks on the floor and greasy equipment and surfaces, emphasizing the need for immediate corrective measures.
Eleni Pizza Works: Labeling and Temperature Control Concerns
Eleni Pizza Works in Sarasota faced high-priority issues related to improper labeling of ready-to-eat foods and inadequate temperature control of cooked chicken breasts. Additionally, the storage of cleaners near cooking oil and eight basic violations raised further food safety concerns.
The recent restaurant inspections conducted by Florida’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants have highlighted critical food safety issues in Bradenton and Sarasota. From expired licenses and inadequate safety training to unsanitary conditions and improper food handling, these violations pose severe risks to public health. Restaurant owners and managers must take immediate corrective actions to ensure compliance with food safety standards and protect the well-being of their customers. Regular inspections and stringent enforcement by the authorities are essential to maintaining a safe and healthy dining experience for everyone.