Ceviche restaurants show pattern of problems on state health inspections

7:21 AM, Apr 10, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg reopened for business Tuesday evening, but many wonder what's going on inside the kitchen after a state inspector ordered the restaurant closed Monday, uncovering 15 violations, four considered high priority.

The problems included various temperature violations, an employee not properly washing their hands, two dead roaches on the cook's line, and 25 more live roaches found crawling through the kitchen.

It's not the first time the St. Pete hot spot has been written up by the state. In January, a state inspector documented 29 violations including food stored in bulk containers outside, a dish machine not sanitizing properly, and a mold-like substance growing on the soda dispensing nozzles.

Other Bay area Ceviche locations have had similar problems over the past year. In June 2012, the South Tampa location had 14 critical violations, including food temperature violations, food stored in the employee bathroom, and no soap at the hand washing sink.

The Clearwater location was even worse with 24 violations last September. On that report, the state wrote up the restaurant for live roaches in the kitchen, numerous small flying insects in the bar area, slime in the ice machine, and an employee not washing his hands before returning to work.

Besides this week's emergency closure, the St. Petersburg location was also ordered to pay a $400 fine following a state administrative complaint for repeat violations.

Related: 10 Nastiest restaurants in 2012

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