Flood Warning issued October 1 at 10:09AM EDT expiring October 4 at 2:00AM EDT in effect for: Sarasota
General Manager Tyrone Dayhoff says he's worked at Crab Shack on Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg for 16 years, so he takes any violations from the state personally.
"This means a lot to me, and even though I don't own it, this is my livelihood," Dayhoff said.
So when inspectors found a dead mouse behind the bar and almost 200 rodent droppings a few months ago, he was disappointed.
"We did what we had to do to get rid of them and make sure it doesn't happen again," Dayhoff said.
But it did happen again. When inspectors returned in June, they found more than 50 more rodent droppings.
"Some of it was awareness with the employees, and the rest of it was getting our pest control company more involved to make sure we didn't have this problem continue," Dayhoff said.
Still there were other problems in Crab Shack's kitchen in June. Some food was held at temperatures below 41 degrees Fahrenheit in the cooler. That includes catfish at 47°f, raw chicken at 48°f, salmon at 51°f, fish chips at 54°f and shrimp at 48°f.
"I think it was more of a thawing issue," Dayhoff said.
"You had food that was sitting out that shouldn't have been?" asked ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan.
"It had been thawed and recently refrigerated. So it was still on a cool-down period," he said.
During the June visit, inspectors also saw an employee touching clam strips with his bare hands just before the food was about to be served to a customer.
So the inspector ordered the plate of food to be discarded.
"When it comes to the food safety issues, did you have some turnover where they didn't know the proper protocol?" Ryan asked.
"We had a little turnover. And that's expected in this industry," Dayhoff said.
And with 75 violations documented in 15 months from March of last year to June of this year, Dayhoff said all of his employees have now been retrained.
"You do get disappointed but it doesn't stop you. You still got to keep doing what you have to do to correct the problems," Dayhoff added.
And he has a message for his customers.
"We're very proactive in taking care of everything, addressed all the problems. We haven't had any more incidents, and we don't feel like we will either," Dayhoff said.