TEMPLE TERRACE, Fla. - Dozens and dozens of flies nibbling on old food is not the company you'd want to keep but that's what we found in the back of Mayuri Indian Restaurant on North 56th Street in Temple Terrace.
The insects were swarming around an open dumpster, a repeat violation found by the state.
"We had a problem, but we fixed it," said Venkat Venumula, part owner of Mayuri for more than three years.
ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan went inside the restaurant to ask more questions.
"Can you tell us what happened and if you've cleaned the place up?" Ryan asked.
"Yeah, we cleaned up everything good," Venumula said.
What did he clean up? Roaches in the kitchen.
On December 10, inspectors shut down the restaurant for almost 48 hours after seeing live roaches near the cook's line, dead roaches in the reach-in cooler, and a roach trap with even more dead insects.
"Were you aware that you had a roach problem?" asked Ryan.
"No, before we didn't have any problem," he responded.
Venumula says the roaches came from a delivery box from an outside vendor that got into the kitchen.
But it wasn't Mayuri's first run-in with food safety inspectors. Over the last 15 months, the state required six follow-up inspections and wrote up 46 critical violations and a high number of non-critical violations at 142.
Some of those critical issues included food stored on the floor, food not properly date-marked and older than 24 hours, and food thawed in standing water.
"Do you have new training under way where you're teaching your employees?" Ryan asked.
"Yeah, everything is all good," Venumula explained.
"Did you have to retrain some of these employees after seeing these reports?" Ryan went on to inquire.
"Yeah," he responded.
Venumula also says he wants customers to know the building is old but his restaurant is clean and up to code.
"So you feel like the kitchen is safe and the place is clean?" asked Ryan.
"Yes," said Venumula.
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