CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. - One Clearwater Beach restaurant was on our Dirty Dining list in January of 2004. In the last 6 months, inspectors wrote up 74 more critical violations, including the presence of roaches and temperature violations.
Ashley Wilkinson eats at Captain's Pizza Restaurant on Mandalay Avenue in Clearwater Beach almost every day because it's so close to where she works. "When I come here, everything's warm, everything's freshly made for me," Wilkinson said.
"Does it look like the place is clean to you?" ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan asked.
"Yes, they're always cleaning whenever I'm here," Wilkinson answered.
Wilkinson didn't know that since September 1, state inspectors documented 74 critical violations, 37 of those just this month.
On February 1, state inspectors found live and dead roaches inside and under kitchen equipment, tzatziki sauce, garlic sauce, and gyro cones all at improper temperatures, and vegetables with mold-like growth.
Captain's Pizza owner, Atif Abdel-Kader approached Ryan outside his restaurant and did not want to make a statement but he blamed the recent bug problems on the store next to his which has been vacant for 6 months.
On January 19, inspectors also found a roach under the microwave, employees using their barehands on ready to eat food, and one of the coolers not keeping food at the right temperature.
And six months ago, inspectors found more temperature violations with pizza at 84 degrees instead of 135 or warmer, various sauces above 41 degrees, and again, a cooler not working properly,
But Atif claims all violations have been fixed.
And customer Wilkinson will surely return. "Everything is freshly made for me," Wilkinson said.
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