INDIAN ROCKS BEACH, Fla. - In January of 2011, Los Mexicanos Restaurant on Gulf Blvd in Indian Rocks Beach made our dirty dining list after inspectors found live roaches, rodent droppings and food temperature violations. Since then, the kitchen conditions have not improved.
According to recent health inspection records over a 12 month period, inspectors have returned four times for follow up inspections because of high priority violations, and six administrative complaints have been filed since 2007, with fines totaling $6,400.
"Did you know they had an issue with food temperatures and rodents?" ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan asked Becky Hayward, a customer walking out of Los Mexicanos.
"Rodents? No we did not," she said emphatically.
Becky told Ryan she eats at Los Mexicanos because its near her job and was stunned to hear about the repeat violations.
"It makes me a little nauseous," Becky added.
During the most recent inspection in March, two dead rodents were discovered in traps along with rodent droppings on the table by the chips, in the food storage area, near the bar, in the liquor room and the wait staff closet.
So Ryan went back inside the restaurant to get some answers.
"Can I speak with the manager or owner?" Ryan asked.
"The manager's not here right now," explained an employee, who claims to only have worked there a few months. He also said he knew nothing about any food safety issues.
"You have no manager on duty?" asked Ryan.
"Not right now," the employee said.
"Even in the kitchen?" Ryan asked.
"Even in the kitchen," the employee repeated.
Similar to 2011 inspectors once again documented food at dangerous temperatures in the last year and a half that could make customers sick including sour cream, cheese, chicken, and beef not cold enough and above 41 degrees. And cheese sauce, rice, and beans not hot enough, which should be 135 degrees or higher.
Other critical violations over the last year includes no proof of employee training, employees using their bare hands on ready to eat foods, and old chips being re-served to customers.
Since Becky enjoys Los Mexicanos' food, she'll be back, if conditions improve.
"You're hoping they clean things up?" Ryan asked.
"I really am," Becky said.
Los Mexicanos Statement:
The management and staff at Los Mexicanos of Indian Rocks Beach is pleased to inform you that we are currently in compliance with all Health Department Regulations. In response to your inquiry about our inspection report on 03/14/2013 it was immediately followed up on 03/20/2013 in which all of our previous violations were found to be in full compliance. Preventative and corrective measures have been taken to insure the safety and cleanliness of our restaurant.
301 Gulf Blvd.
Indian Rocks Beach, FL