RESTAURANT RED ALERT: More pizza problems near USF

1:23 PM, Dec 19, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida - For the second week in a row, there are problems to report at a USF area pizza parlor.

oN Dec. 5, Island Breeze Pizzeria & Bar was shut down as an emergency closure after a state inspector documented 34 violations. Among the problems, an employee failing to wash their hands before putting on gloves to work with food and raw chicken stored above the produce. 

The inspector also documented temperature violations on the vegetables, deli meat, raw beef and poultry all stored above 41 degrees and issued a stop sale after discovering moldy salami with more than 20 small flying insects in the food prep area.

"Oh my God... Whoa!" exclaimed registered nurse Barbara Williams, who works in the area and said she would be reluctant to eat at the restaurant considering all of the issues.

The restaurant was allowed to reopen after meeting state standards the following day. So this week we followed up to see if conditions had really improved.

Owner Satin Cel and his wife Gunseli took us behind the kitchen door where at first glance conditions did appear improved.

The temperature inside the walk-in cooler was now corrected to keep food at the required 41 degrees, but we also found a number of remaining issues, including some food left uncovered.

And when we searched for a place for employees to wash their hands we found a sink with no paper towels. Soap was stored in the dishwashing sink.

"You've got to wash your hands twice as much, because germs do multiply in a hurry," said Williams.

There were also flies still landing on food in the prep area. Owners say it was a disgruntled former employee who filed an anonymous complaint with the state, alleging the restaurant was serving outdated food.

"Everyone say this place very good, very nice, very clean... not dirty. Other place.... Very dirty... very dirty! Problems... Maybe discrimination," said owner Gunseli Cel.

Whatever the motivation, some feel there's no excuse for temperature violations and moldy food inside a restaurant's kitchen.

"Please people, at least think of the public," said Williams. "Would you want to eat that kind of food if you went to a restaurant?"

Take a look at Island Breeze Pizzeria's full inspection history here.

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