BRANDON, Fla. -- Mall employee Penny Horn is a big fan of Big Easy Cajun in the Westfield Brandon Mall Food Court.
"I love their Bourbon chicken. I love their jambalaya rice," said Horn on her lunch break in the food court.
But last month Horn started hearing from coworkers about problems at the restaurant. 10 News confirmed state regulators had the restaurant shut down on two separate inspections back in November after finding numerous critical violations including:
- Slime on the soda dispensing nozzles
- The reach in cooler soiled with the accumulation of food residue
- Live roaches: 12 found in the front service area under the steam table, 6 under the sink, 4 under a prep table, 7 on an electrical panel, and 6 under the oven
More dead roaches were found throughout the kitchen area, according to state inspectors, including one in a refrigerator.
"I don't think they do it intentionally," said Horn. "I'm not sure what is behind that, however, if there is a problem I'm sure they needed to address it."
We stopped by Big Easy Cajun and asked to speak with a manager. We were told the main manager was off, but were given a phone number to call him. When we asked for permission to take a look behind the kitchen door, we were told, "Absolutely not!"
Turns out Big Easy Cajun has other locations across the state with similar problems. Their Orange Park store was also shut down within the last year after a state inspector reported finding 255 fresh rodent droppings all over the restaurant, underneath the prep tables, on top of soy sauce buckets, underneath the steam tables, and up inside the light shields above the kitchen cook line.
We'll continue to keep you updated on Big Easy Cajun's future inspection reports.
You can search the restaurant's entire inspection history on the Department of Business and Professional Regulation website.
Take a look at our previous Behind the Kitchen Door reports:
Classic Homestyle Buffet, Tampa 1/11/12
Frank's Family Restaurant, Hernando 1/18/12
CiCi's Pizza, Kenneth City 2/1/12
China Express, Brandon 2/8/12