BRADENTON, Florida — Theresa’s Restaurant is a local breakfast spot recently featured on the Food Network’s reality makeover show “Restaurant: Impossible."
Six months later, the restaurant is getting a different kind of attention, this time from health inspectors. The establishment located on 14th Street West in downtown Bradenton was shut down as an emergency closure March 23 with temperature violations on the diced ham and pork, walls covered in grease, and live cockroaches under the dish machine with more dead ones, according to state records, found “inside” the refrigerator.
So 10Investigates decided to stop in checking to see if the violations were now corrected.
“Come outside, what is this for,” asked owner Jodi Boucher who at first seemed reluctant to discuss her previous health code violations.
“What happened was, we had to fire Orkin and I don’t want to be on TV.”
But Boucher, reconsidered eventually inviting us inside. “The problem wasn’t that severe. We were only closed for a few hours. Come on I’ll show you,” said Boucher.
While things did look better we did have to ask about a series of repeat violations. Theresa’s was written up over the past three years for having no proof of employee food safety training.
“All of my people are up to code,” insisted Boucher. “They wouldn’t have reopened me if it wasn’t corrected.” But state inspection reports show the restaurant was given a time extension to get two employees properly trained.
“Because they were new people,” said Boucher. “They’re in the process of doing it. It’s only been six days They’re brand new employees.”
State records show the employees had been “working for more than 60 days.” The restaurant was also cited for storing items in the kitchen hand washing sink.
But on our visit, the hand washing sink was clear, stocked with soap and paper towels.
Boucher also denied the violation for dead roaches “inside the refrigerator.”
“It was not inside so make sure you correct that,” said Boucher pointing to the top seal of the refrigerator. “That is not inside.”
Regardless of previous problems we found most issues corrected on our visit. Refrigerators were at the proper temperature and Boucher was able to show us proof of food safety training for the chefs.
And as for any roaches, we searched high and low and found no additional insect activity.
Boucher had this message for customers.
“People make mistakes. We’re on top of it and everything is under control.”
Theresa’s was cleared to reopen the day following their emergency closure. The state was back again April 7th and documented 11 remaining violations.