Florida’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants routinely inspects restaurants, food trucks and other food service establishments for public health and cleanliness issues. The reports are public information.

During the most recent inspections in Manatee County, issues at area restaurants included lack of employee hand-washing and bare hand contact with food.

A Bradenton fast food restaurant was also cited for signs of rodent activity.

Here is what inspectors found:

Burger King, 8502 S.R. 70 E., Bradenton

  • An inspector observed approximately nine rodent droppings throughout various areas of the restaurant, including three under a drive-thru window on the floor. Corrective action was taken. The areas were cleaned and sanitized.
  • Cut ham that was supposed to monitored using time as a public health control and discarded after use was present in a walk-in cooler. A stop sale was issued due to the meat not being in a wholesome, sound condition.
  • Chicken nuggets were hot held at a temperature less than 135 degrees.
  • A jug of gasoline was stored next to a hot water heater. Corrective action was taken.
  • Wet wiping cloths were not stored in sanitizing solution between uses. Corrective action was taken.
  • Floors were soiled under the cook line, kitchen equipment and dry storage shelves.
  • None of the employees preparing food were wearing hair restraints, according to an inspector. Corrective action was taken.
  • A follow-up inspection was required. The restaurant met inspection standards during a follow-up visit the next day.

The Feast Restaurant, 5406 Marina Dr., Holmes Beach

  • Dish machine sanitizer was not at the proper minimum strength. An inspector took a sanitizer reading of zero. Corrective action was taken.
  • An employee failed to wash hands before putting on gloves to work with food. An inspector advised a manager and the employee on proper hand washing protocol.

  • An employee handled raw fish and then changed gloves without washing hands. An inspector advised a manager and the employee on proper hand washing protocol.

  • An employee handled dirty dishes then handled clean dishes without first washing hands. An inspector advised a manager and the employee on proper hand washing protocol.

  • An employee handled a phone and then handled clean equipment without first washing hands. An inspector advised a manager and the employee on proper hand washing protocol.

  • Employee handled raw beef and then clean utensils without first changing gloves and washing hands. An inspector advised a manager and the employee on proper hand washing protocol.

  • Shell eggs were stored over ready-to-eat pineapple in the walk-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.

  • Spray bottles containing cleaning fluid were stored on a soda rack. Corrective action was taken.

  • No currently certified food service manager was on duty while four or more employees were engaged in food preparation/handling. A certified food manager reported to work before the end of the inspection.

  • No soap was provided at an employee hand-wash sink. Corrective action was taken.

  • Hood filters were soiled.

  • The interior of a microwave has an accumulation of food debris.

  • An employee drink was stored on a food preparation table.

  • There was an accumulation of food debris inside of a ware-washing machine.

  • A follow-up inspection was required. The restaurant met inspection standards during a follow-up visit.

Whitney’s, 6990 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key

  • An inspector observed an employee touching ready-to-eat shrimp with bare hands. Corrective action was taken. The employee reheated the shrimp.
  • Raw burger was stored over fish in a walk-in cooler.
  • Unwashed produce was stored over washed carrots in a walk-in cooler.
  • A certified food manager unable to answer basic Food Code questions about minimum cooking and hot-holding temperatures.
  • Shellfish tags were not marked with the last date that the food was served and not stored in chronological order.
  • There was no sanitizer available for ware-washing, according to an inspector. The inspector advised using only single-service items to serve food until sanitizer was acquired.
  • The establishment was offering raw or undercooked oysters without a written consumer health advisory. Corrective action was taken. An inspector provided a sign and a restaurant operator placed it where customers could see it.
  • Prepped crab and boiled eggs that were being held for future use in a walk-in cooler were not date-marked.
  • There was no sanitizer of any kind available on site to properly set up sanitizing buckets.
  • Hood vents at the cook line were soiled.
  • The walk-in cooler floor was soiled under shelving.
  • There was an accumulation of debris inside of a warewashing machine.
  • An inspector observed an employee place shrimp on an inappropriate surface (a dry wiping cloth).
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Nonna’s Pizza, 7604 Cortez Road W. #10, Bradenton

  • Meatballs, cooked sausage, multiple quantities of ham, ham-breadcrumb mixture, chicken wings, raw chicken, multiple servings of pizza sauce, cooked pasta, multiple quantities of mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese, raw shell eggs and butter were cold held at temperatures greater than 41 degrees in a walk-in cooler. All of the items had been held overnight. A stop sale was issued due to temperature abuse. The items were discarded.
  • Raw beef was stored over cheese sticks in a reach-in freezer. Corrective action was taken.
  • No test kit was at hand to measure the strength of sanitizer in use for ware-washing or wiping cloths.
  • Cooked sausage, pizza sauce, pasta and cooked chicken in a walk-in cooler were not date-marked. The items were discarded due to temperature abuse.

  • A hand-wash sink was used for purposes other than hand-washing.

  • Raw chicken was stored in a non-food-grade trash bag, according to an inspector.

  • Walk-in cooler shelves were soiled with food.

  • The walk-in cooler floor was soiled.

  • A walk-in cooler was not maintaining proper temperatures, and one fan was broken. Corrective action was taken. A restaurant operator stated that a repair order had been placed.

  • An employee drink was stored on a prep table. Corrective action was taken.

  • The ceiling was soiled in a food preparation area.

  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Alvarez Mexican Restaurant, 1431 Eighth Ave. W., Palmetto

  • Cleaner was stored next to unopened drink mix bottles. Corrective action was taken.
  • A food manager’s certification was expired.
  • Cutting boards on a prep line were soiled with food debris.
  • There was food debris on the floor under the cook line.
  • There was an accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of an ice machine in the kitchen.
  • A follow-up inspection was required.

Cremesh Coffee and Bakery, 1822 59th St. W., Bradenton

  • Pooled eggs were stored over ready-to-eat frosting in a walk-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.
  • Shell eggs were stored at room temperature. Corrective action was taken.
  • A spray bottle containing cleaning fluid was stored next to coffee filters. Corrective action was taken.
  • A mixer head and a slicer blade were soiled.
  • Hot water was not provided at an employee hand-washing sink in the kitchen. Corrective action was taken.
  • Wet wiping cloths were not stored in sanitizing solution between uses.
  • Shelves under multiple preparation tables were soiled.
  • In-use knives were stored in cracks between pieces of equipment. Corrective action was taken.
  • Containers of food were stored on the floors in a kitchen a walk-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.
  • Employee drinks were stored on prep tables next to food. Corrective action was taken.
  • The restaurant met inspection standards.

Tarpon Bay Grill & Tiki Bar, 7150 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

  • Raw fish was stored over ready-to-eat oysters in a walk-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.
  • A large can of marinara sauce was dented at the seam. An employee discarded it.
  • No hand-washing sign was posted at an employee hand-wash sink.
  • A case of french fries was stored on the floor of a walk-in cooler. Corrective action was taken.
  • The restaurant met inspection standards.

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.

The Bradenton Herald’s weekly dirty dining reports list restaurants where inspectors found issues that might concern the average diner — such as unsafe food temperatures, employee hand-washing issues or moldy drink machines — regardless of whether or not the businesses passed inspection.

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Ryan Ballogg is a news reporter and features writer at the Bradenton Herald. Since joining the paper in 2018, he has received awards for features, art and environmental writing in the Florida Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Competition. Ryan is a Florida native and graduated from University of South Florida St. Petersburg.
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