TREASURE ISLAND, Florida— A popular pizza restaurant along Gulf Boulevard in Treasure Island is back open Tuesday after spending the past five days closed by order of state health inspectors.
Britt’s Pizza was originally shut down August 15 with 36 violations, including nine deemed by the state as “high priority” violations.
Among the issues, the health inspector reported finding small flying insects, too many to count, around the dough mixer and beverage area, around the reach-in cooler and near the dish machine which was also written up for not sanitizing dishes properly.
The inspector also reports finding cooked chicken wings made two days earlier stored in a cooler that wasn’t working at 73 degrees.
“I’d be concerned about getting sick,” said Darby Snyder who is visiting Treasure Island with her family from Washington state. “I’m just visiting and that would ruin my vacation if something happened to one of me or my friends.”
State records show the inspector also reporting both dead and live roaches all over the restaurant including next to the pizza oven, over the prep table, crawling across clean pizza pans, in with the clean silverware, and even two lives roaches crawling around inside a box of Biscotti.
“It’s awful, disgusting, it’s like an infestation,” said Snyder.
A state health inspector cleared Britt’s Pizza to reopen just before lunch Tuesday, so 10News stopped in to see if everything was really cleaned up.
“I’m sorry there’s nobody here who can help you,” said an employee who did not identify herself and returned minutes later asking us to leave.
Employees also initially refused to bring out a copy of their latest inspection report as required under Florida law.
10News was able to obtain a copy of the inspection results from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation website, which makes inspection reports for all restaurant available online.
We shared the inspection results with unsuspecting customer Lisa Rollo.
“This is big stuff here,” said Rollo. “I mean 200 dead flies, this is scary stuff. Seventy-three degrees for meat in a walk in?”
Lisa said without access to the inspection report her health could be at risk.
The restaurant eventually called Treasure Island police. When they arrived, we informed officers the restaurant was refusing to show us a copy of their latest inspection report. The officer took a copy of Florida’s state statutes inside, and minutes later an employee emerged with the inspection report in hand.
“I think people should be made aware of it,” said Snyder of the information about health code violations. “I love what you guys are doing. We’re not going here ever.”
The owner of Britt’s Pizza declined our request for an interview but told us off camera the roaches came from wood brought into the restaurant for the pizza oven. He says the violations were not “critical issues” and insists his restaurant is clean.
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