INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, Fla.- It was supposed to be a quick breakfast before a fun day at the beach, but when the Tellbuescher Family stopped at Sandy's Restaurant on Gulf Boulevard on March 1st, they say their morning got off to an awful start when 3-year-old Carson spotted something unusual in his orange juice.
"He said 'Dad, there's something in my cup,'" recalls Carson's father, Kory Tellbuescher. "When I picked it up and looked at it, I realized what it was."
Tellbuescher says what he saw appeared to be a rodent dropping floating in his son's drink.
"I took it to the lady behind the counter. She showed it to another waitress. They were kind of shocked it was there," said Tellbuescher.
The family says they paid their bill and quickly left, but not before noticing what they described as a filthy kitchen.
"We were so disgusted, I immediately filed a complaint."
That complaint prompted an inspection by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. An inspector went inand confirmedthe presence of rodent droppings, including on a storage rack in the wait staff area, on shelves with dishes, under the microwave, and inside the container holding children's sipping cups.
We stopped by Sandy's on Indian Rocks Beach to find out if the problems had been corrected, but the owner wasn't too happy to see us.
"I've got customers in here. My kitchen is clean," said the owner, who immediately escorted us outside.
When we asked about how a rodent dropping ended up in a child's drink, the owner declined to answer any more questions. "The problem has been resolved. She's been back, the health inspector, and passed everything."
From there, the owner shut the front door, refusing to answer any more questions. So we asked a customer on her way in with her daughter what she thought about rodent droppings in a child's drink. "I think we'll go to the restaurant next door. We may skip this one... wow!" said a shocked Tila Skipper.
As for 3-year-old Carson, he turned out to be okay, but his parents are still upset over what happened. "I just expect better from any restaurant," said Tellbuescher.
The family can only hope problems in the kitchen are cleaned up once and for all.
"I don't know that for sure because I'm not going back."
Along with those rodent droppings, the inspector also found a dead mouse in the kitchen near the cook line, an employee not washing his hands, and hot food underneath a shelf with peeling paint.
Sandy's owner contacted us this week by telephone and says the inspector indicated all problems were corrected. But the latest inspection report still shows four critical violations, including the kitchen's back door, which doesn't properly seal closed.