BRANDON, Fla. — Ants were seen crawling inside a Tampa Bay area Mexican restaurant.

Sabor A Mexico in Brandon is the go-to spot for customer Anna Brooks.

“I just love their home homemade salsa and just a lot of their entrees are really good,” Brooks said as she arrived for lunch.  

Brooks and other customers had no idea this Mexican restaurant was shut down by state inspectors just two weeks earlier.   

The restaurant racked up 65 violations, including meat and salsa stored on the floor and employees not properly washing their hands.  

The report indicated one employee was spotted going from working with raw meat to lettuce. Another was seen scratching their crotch area without changing gloves.

“I have no words for that,”  a near speechless Brooks said with a look of bewilderment on her face.  “That’s very gross. That’s very disappointing.”

Health inspectors weren’t done there. The restaurant’s inspection report also listed too many ants to count walking around in the walk-in cooler area.  There was also roach excrement on dry storage shelves holding food and rodent activity with a chewed up plastic lid on top of the tortilla container.

“Wow! That’ eye-opening,” Brooks said.  

The restaurant has now had two full weeks to clean up their kitchen so Wednesday 10News stopped in unannounced.

Within minutes of arriving, the restaurant allowed us behind the kitchen door and almost immediately we started spotting positive changes, like soap and paper towels at all the kitchen handwashing sinks.

We also found employees wearing gloves and also washing their hands. 

“It’s a routine we have to do every time,” cook Tony said.  

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