Restaurant Red Alert: State finds employees not washing hands inside Country Boy Restaurant

11:11 PM, Oct 24, 2012   |    comments
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DUNEDIN, Fla. -- For close to 30 years, Country Boy Family Restaurant has been serving up breakfast lunch and dinner on Main Street in Dunedin.

Last week, Kathy Cheek visited the restaurant for the very first time.

"The salad was fairly decent, but the BLT, it was killer," said Cheek.

But what wasn't so great was Country Boy's October 8th health Inspection by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. On the inspection, the state documented 16 critical violations, including improper temperatures on the butter and coffee creamers; grits stored uncovered; no soap at the employee hand sink; and employees not properly washing their hands then touching foods like bread, biscuits, and toast without gloves.

"Should the employees be washing their hands?" we asked Cheek. "Oh, for sure ... Absolutely, that's a must."

But it was the 30 rodent droppings found that left her most disgusted. "Ohhh," she said with a wince.

So what's really going on inside this restaurant's kitchen? Owner Mario Constantinou met us outside to explain how each and every issue was being addressed.

"Well, it's very important to us because we've been here for 28 years and we try to do the best we can," said Constantinou.

He agreed to take us on a tour of his restaurant's kitchen. "We have the chef washing his hands," Constantinou showed us as we walked into the kitchen on our surprise inspection.

Sure enough, there was also soap at the sink, something missing during the state inspection. Food was up off the floor, holes in the ceiling had been fixed, and the ice machine appeared to be crystal clean.

As for the rodent droppings, Mario said they were found under a water heater in the very back corner of the kitchen.

"Still, there is no excuse. But sometimes it happens ... everything is cleaned up," Constantinou assured us.

We were quite impressed with what we saw. The only violation we could find was an open garbage dumpster outside, a problem corrected while we were there.

Longtime employee Bridget DeVaney agreed keeping customers happy and healthy is what's important. "It's the main priority," she said. "That's how they come back. You serve them good food, at a good price, with good service."

With that, we give Country Boy Restaurant our cleaned up kitchen "A-OK."

"I eat here myself three times a day and I'm here for 28 years," said Constantinou. "I want to make sure the place is nice and clean and make sure we take good care of our guests."

See Country Boy Family Restaurant's full inspection history here.

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