TAMPA, Florida— Looking for a healthy option for lunch, Brandon Harris ordered a chicken wrap from Tampa’s Golden Krust Bakery on East Hillsborough Avenue.
“Trying to stay lean and cut back on food,” said Harris after ordering his food.
But he and other customers say there isn’t much healthy about Golden Krust’s latest health inspection. The restaurant was shut down on July 5th with 35 violations including sewage and wastewater backing up through the floor drains. A clogged pipe likely led to employees not properly washing utensils, pots and cutting boards; instead, just rinsing the dirty dishes in water according to the inspection report.
The inspector also wrote up the cook for not properly washing their hands. Even customers were unable to wash their hands because the state reports they were banned from using the restroom.
“That’s a bad report,” said Harris. “It’s really bad.”
The state considers the inability to wash hands is a high priority violation and customers agree.
“Your health is everything and then if you’re not washing your hands and then serving people, I wish I would have known that before ordering my food,” said customer Kenyatta McClairen.
The state cleared the restaurant to reopen a day after the emergency closure. So 10Investigates stopped in to check on conditions in the kitchen a week later.
When we arrived we were told the owner was not available to speak with us on camera, but the employee did mention the water backup was only a minor problem with little impact on kitchen operations.
“Yeah man…everything [is] okay man,” the employee said.
We also asked about why customers were banned from using the restroom.
“Some of them who come…they just come and mess it up…and [then they're] gone… and they just come in straight,” the employee said.
We reached the restaurant’s owner by telephone who asked us to come back the following day so she could dispute the state’s findings. But when we returned the next day, we were again told the owner was not available.
This Golden Krust location also has a history of other health code problems requiring follow-up inspections on 9 out of their last 10 visits.
Earlier this year, in January, an inspector found live roaches in the kitchen, inside the microwave and on a chicken base container. It was the same story in September of last year with live roaches found around the produce refrigerator and small flying insects inside the kitchen.
“I wish I would have known that before I spent my money just then,” said McClairen who was so disgusted she threw her meal in the garbage.
“I don’t think I want this…Thank you very much for letting me know.”
The owner of the restaurant still hasn’t returned any of our calls.