Dirty Dining: Restaurant on St. Pete Beach had wild birds, flying insects and rodents in the kitchen

ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. - Bailey Price and Ashley Bierman are enjoying their spring break on St. Pete Beach, eating conveniently right near the water at Paradise Grille on Beach Plaza Drive.

"So the food was good?" asked ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan.

"Yes, the food was good," Bailey said. "I got a hot dog here. It was really, really good. My brothers loved their corn dogs as well."

But they weren't the only ones enjoying some nibbles. Over the last couple months, inspectors have seen wild birds flying in and out of the kitchen, too many flying insects to count and more.

"Did you know they had some issues with the state as far as rodents getting into the kitchen?" Ryan asked.

"No I have not. That's kind of gross and disgusting," Bailey reacted.

On March 21 state inspectors found a dozen rodent droppings near the back hallway, so Ryan went to Paradise Grille to talk to Josh Brown, the manager on duty.

Brown has worked at Paradise Grille for five years, so Ryan asked him about inspectors finding evidence of rodents in the kitchen.

"Since then, we had the guy come out here and spray and we gutted the place and cleaned it and scrubbed it," Brown explained.

And recently Brown took on an even bigger leadership role after inspectors found other high priority violations, like employees not washing their hands and raw animal food stored over ready to eat food.

"Is it a matter of retraining the employees you do have?" Ryan asked.

"Yeah," Brown answered.

"And you're in charge of that?" Ryan asked.

"Well, now I am," Brown admitted.

Brown says after the inspector gave Paradise Grille a warning, he and his staff pulled out all the equipment and sanitized everything.

"We completely gutted it, cleaned it so we could be up to par," Brown explained.

"How long did it take you guys to do all that?" Ryan asked.

"Honestly, just a couple hours. It was just like simple things that should have been done every day that weren't getting done every day," Brown said.

And he hopes to keep it clean.

"Because you've cleaned it from top to bottom, do you think it's in must better shape?" Ryan inquired.

"Yeah, and hopefully we can keep it to stay that way," Brown responded.

But Bailey and her friend may get their next vacation meal else where.

"Definitely thinking twice about eating there now," Bailey said.

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