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RED ALERT: Roaches still found in three restaurants shut down by state

6:18 AM, Oct 4, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida - The Steak Escape inside Tampa's Citrus Park Mall is open for business, but last Friday, the food court hot spot was closed after the state discovered five critical violations, including employees not washing their hands and over 20 live roaches behind the potato cutter, on the walls and shelving, and inside the paper towel dispenser.

10 News stopped by Wednesday morning to find out if the problems had been corrected. Steak Escape allowed us to inspect their kitchen, but within minutes, we started to notice numerous bugs, both dead and live roaches, all over the kitchen.
The more we looked, the more bugs we found.

And while the kitchen did have soap at the sink, paper towels were missing, which was a repeat violation. We also noticed a live insect crawling around on a table in the food court dining area.

Across Tampa, our next stop was University Mall and the popular Subway sandwich shop. The restaurant was also closed down last week with similar violations. The state documented employees making food without washing their hands, slime in the ice machine, and 20 roaches throughout the kitchen.

We did find soap at the employee hand sink, but another was partially blocked by a cardboard cutout advertisement. Food was also up off the floor in the walk-in cooler.

"We keep everything clean and fresh. We try to do it every day. It's a good place," said Subway Assistant Manager Julian Paz.

We only spotted one roach on our Subway stop, a very small one that appeared to be treated by Subway's pest control company. But that one roach was one too many for employees at the tattoo shop down the hall.

"I feel like throwing up right now honestly," said Pinto, an artist in the shop.

"If it's like that, they should have proper training and classes to make sure everything is done right," said another employee who goes by "Rico."

Our final stop was Saigon Café on Adamo Drive near Brandon. The restaurant was also shut down by the state with 13 critical violations. Among the problems was a refrigeration unit not cooling food properly, and more than 30 live roaches on shelves, near the slicer, and on a dining room table. A dead roach was also found in a large container of salt that had to be thrown out.

"Everything is sanitized, everything is really good," said Saigon Café Manager Cassandra Le. "Honestly, nothing is left."

But at Siagon, we also spotted an insect, this one stomped on by the manager just before it was caught on camera.

"In the back we try to clean every day," said Le. "We mop every day. As you can see it's very clean in here."

Saigon Cafe inspections

Citrus Park Steak Escape inspections

University Mall Subway inspections

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