CLEARWATER, Fla. - With 90 degree heat outside, cooling off with a cold delicious scoop of ice cream can be refreshing. But one shop might give you chills and it's not from the temperature of the ice cream.
Marble Slab Creamery inside the Westfield Countryside Mall on US 19 in Clearwater was temporarily shut down for over 25 hours recently after inspectors found roaches crawling in the front counter area and 40 to 50 dead roaches near the counter, yogurt machine, and back storage area.
"I go to Marble Slab a lot," said Robin Paris, who works inside the Countryside Mall. She says she's a regular customer at the ice cream shop.
"What do you get there?" asked ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan.
"I usually get the coffee ice cream with almonds and chocolate sprinkles," Robin answered.
"Do you like it?" Ryan asked.
"I love it!" she responded enthusiastically.
But she did not love the news about the recent roach activity.
"I had no clue," Robin admitted.
During that May inspection, the state also found pesticide/insecticide in the restaurant labeled for household use only, no proof of required employee training, and the reach-in cooler soiled with old food residue.
"How do you feel about that?" Ryan asked Robin.
"Sickened now," she admitted.
And in November of 2013, inspectors saw raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food, a cross contamination issue, the reach-in freezer accumulated with old food debris and food stored on the floor.
But Robin hopes these problems never happen again.
"Would you go back?" Ryan asked.
"I probably would if they have everything all cleaned up," Robin said.
Meanwhile, state inspectors just did a new inspection on July 18 and found no violations.
"Marble Slab Creamery takes great pride in the quality of our ice cream and prioritizes the cleanliness of our stores and the health of our customers. All violations at the Clearwater store have been addressed and the store is now fully operational and in great condition. Marble Slab Creamery has an exceptional reputation and we take our sanitation standards and customer satisfaction extremely seriously."
-Allison Lauenstein, Vice President of Marble Slab Creamery