CLEARWATER, Florida— Customers don’t like to hear about bugs anywhere around their food. That’s why we stopped by the Clearwater Checkers location on Missouri Avenue to check on conditions a week after the state shut the place down due to an insect infestation!
“We’re taking a break to eat some lunch. We want to have some clean food you know,” said customer Chris Avitable on his way out of the drive-thru.
But July 12th inspectors with the Division of Hotels and Restaurants documented 9 violations including unsafe temperatures on the dairy mix in the ice cream machine, live roaches throughout the kitchen with excrement and egg casings near the ice machine. The inspector reported finding more dead roaches found near the burger wrappers, around the drink cups and soda fountain under the ice cream blender and 53 dead roaches inside the bun warmer! The state also found tiny ants, too many to count, all throughout the kitchen. The same issue has shown up on inspections dating back to July of last year.
“The bug man was here last week spraying the kitchen and the back door,” recalled frequent customer Bob McManus. “Now I know why.”
The restaurant was cleared to reopen a day after last week’s emergency closure. So 10Investigates stopped in to find out if the kitchen was really cleaned up.
“I’m just asking for you guys to leave,” said an employee who identified herself as the manager. “I’m not answering any questions.”
This manager didn’t want to talk about any of the problems so we asked to see a copy of their latest health inspection report something every restaurant in Florida is required by law to show anyone who asks.
“Everything is online for you, there you go,” said the manager attempting to slam the door shut on our microphone. The manager indicated that she did have a copy but that we would have to view it online.
We weren’t the only ones curious to see this restaurant’s inspection results.
“Of course I’d want to see it,” said Avitable before eating his meal. “I mean they’re serving us food!
Customers wonder what Checkers had to hide and if the food they’re serving is really safe.
“You got to have cleanliness in a business,” said McManus. “I wouldn’t want to eat a hamburger with a cockroach in it. I mean its nasty.”