TREASURE ISLAND, Fla.- This week, our Restaurant Red Alert focuses on the Bay area's beaches and several well-known bar and restaurant hotspots.
Photo Gallery: Restaurant Red Alert: Bay area beach bars
We begin with one of the Bay area most famous beach bars: Caddy's on Treasure Island.
On May 30, a state inspector found 23 critical violations, including refrigeration units unable to maintain proper temperatures, an employee spotted not properly washing his hands, old food stuck to clean utensils, and slime on both the soda dispensing nozzles and inside the ice machine.
We stopped in to see if the problems had been corrected. We went down the list: from soap at the sink, to a cleaned up ice maker, everything appeared up to par.
"It's not just the beach. We are a restaurant and bar and we serve food and serve drinks and have to abide by all the standards," said Caddy's manager Bob Cyr. "If I went to a place, I would expect the same thing."
Next stop was Coasters Bar & Grille on Indian Rocks Beach.
On May 31, the inspector found tuna salad at 47 degrees, an employee smoking in the food prep area, a foul smelling freezer with mold growing inside, and over 130 rodent droppings on top of the refrigerator, around the food storage rack, even inside the pans.
Despite the previous problems, owner Heather Bowles was eager to show us her cleaned up kitchen. We found the stinky freezer removed and the remaining refrigeration units clean and organized.
"I'm glad it was actually brought to my attention," said Bowles. "It gave me an opportunity for me to correct it, gave me an opportunity to retrain my staff, tell them the importance of keeping the kitchen clean and making good product for my customers."
The Columbia Restaurant on Clearwater Beach was our final stop. On May 31, an inspector documented 10 critical violations, with slime in the ice machine and roach activity on the food prep line.
"I'm sure they'll get it straightened out because of their name and because of their history. Everybody knows the Columbia," said customer Debra Berry.
Sure enough, The Columbia invited us inside where we found a nearly spotless kitchen and a totally cleaned out ice machine.
"We had the cleaning company come in, they emptied it, cleaned it, and re-sanitized it," said Columbia General Manager Lee Michaud.
On our inspection of the Clearwater Beach Columbia, all problems appeared to be corrected.
"We take our health inspections very seriously, and everything was rectified the very next day when she came back to re-inspect," said Michaud.
All three restaurants get an "A-OK," meaning we're happy to issue the all clear this week's Restaurant Red Alert.
Take a look at the other Columbia Restaurant Food Service Inspection reports here:
Columbia Cafe at the Tampa Bay History Center
Columbia St. Petersburg Pier
Columbia Café at TIA
Outrageous Restaurant Red Alert reports:
Band Aid Soup: Customer served soup - with a band aid in it!
Terrible 10: 10 Tampa Bay restaurants with the WORST critical violations
Ceiling Roaches: McDonalds cited when roach falls from ceiling onto diner's food
Finger in salad: Pizza customer claims there was a fingertip in his salad
Baked Roaches: Roaches found baked into Pizza Supreme
More Restaurant Red Alert Reports:
Classic Homestyle Buffet, Tampa 1/11/12
Frank's Family Restaurant, Hernando 1/18/12
Big Easy Cajun, Brandon TownCenter 1/25/12
CiCi's Pizza, Kenneth City 2/1/12
China Express, Brandon 2/8/12
Daiquiri Deck, Maderia Beach 2/15/12
Athenian Garden, Tyrone Area, St. Pete 2/22/12
Bob Evans (Ulmerton Road), Pho 97 (Pinellas Park), Kobe Japanese Steak House (New Tampa) 2/29/12
China Jade, Carrollwood, 3/7/12
Nicki's West 59th (Bradenton), Top's China Buffet (Brandon), 400 Beach (St. Petersburg) 3/14/12
Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille (Ybor City) 3/21/12
Sandy's Restaurant, Indian Rocks Beach 3/28/12