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Indian restaurant temporarily shut down for second time in a year

State records show Deccan Spice had hand washing violations and rodent droppings in the kitchen.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- For the second time in less than a year, health inspectors were at Deccan Spice. The Indian Restaurant on Ulmerton Road looks great from the outside.

“It smells amazing,” said Irene Hopkins, who was considering eating at Deccan Spice.

But Hopkins and others had no idea about the restaurant’s most recent April 9 emergency closure. State records show Deccan Spice racked up 45 violations, including for cooked chicken and goat not properly date-marked, raw fruits or vegetables not washed prior to preparation, temperature violations on the cheese and cooked chicken, raw chicken stored over cooked chicken, even small flying insects in prep, dish and storage areas.

The health inspector also reported finding a dead roach in the bar and more than 40 rodent droppings around kitchen. The inspector noted the restaurant’s outer opening not protected with the back door completely disconnected.

“I’m really glad we didn’t go in there today,” said Hopkins. “That’s scary!”

And with recent Hepatitis A concerns in Florida, Pinellas County health inspectors are cracking down on hand washing. Records show Deccan Spice was written up yet again this month for an employee failing to wash his or her hands, touching dirty dishes before switching back to working with food, bare hand contact while cutting onions, a hand washing sink blocked by a cart and another removed completely, plus soap and paper towels missing from another sink.

“[Hand washing] is more important than how the food tastes,” said Hopkins.

10News stopped in to question management about all the issues. But, when we arrived, we were asked to wait outside where no manager ever came out to speak with us. After about a half hour waiting, we finally walked around back where we spotted two employees working with a box of frozen chicken on the ground. A man who appeared to be the person didn’t want his employees talking to us and ordered them back inside the kitchen. He had little to say himself either.

Deccan Spice has received more than 200 health code violations in the past year. You can click here to read detailed inspection information for the restaurant.

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