DIRTY DINING: Inspectors shut down local Cuban eatery for 24 hours for live roaches in the kitchen

TAMPA - Rafael Parada bought El Chamo Papito Cuban Cafe and Bar on Erlich Road in Tampa in March of 2012 and says since then, he's spent thousands of dollars fixing it up.

"How much money do you think you put into the place?" asked ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan.

"In this place? $40,000 to $50,000," Parada admitted.

But all that renovating and fixing of equipment did not keep the state from shutting down the Cuban eatery for 24 hours on October 15, after inspectors found over 40 live roaches crawling near the prep table, walls and floor.

And it's not the first time El Chamo Papito had an issue with bugs with inspectors finding flying insects in the bar area during the last three full inspections in October, June, and February.

Hazardous food temperatures were also documented in October, with deli meats held greater than 41 degrees.

And in February, white rice was at improper levels and 15 pounds of pork roast had to be destroyed because of dangerous temperatures that could make customers sick.

"The temperature issues have been a problem," Ryan commented.

"No, it's fixed," Parada explained.

Other high priority violations discovered in 2013 include the dish machine not sanitizing properly, raw pork stored over ready to eat food, a cross contamination issue, and food not date marked, a high priority violation since there's a possibility of serving old food to customers. But Parada has put new rules into place.

"My first rule is clean up. Clean up, service, customer service and attention," Parada said.

And Parada says he's definitely turned the place around.

"Do you feel like you've done everything you need to do to correct all the violations?" Ryan asked.

"Oh yes, definitely, I did," Parada said emphatically.
 

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