Dirty Dining: Taco Bus temporarily closes after inspectors find sewage/wastewater leaking near food

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Mexican food is served up daily at seven popular Taco Bus eateries but the St. Petersburg location had to stop serving food last week and shut down after inspectors found sewage/wastewater leaking near food.

In a special Dirty Dining I-Team report, on February 28, Taco Bus St. Pete at 2324 Central Avenue had sewage backing up through the floor drains and the water from the drain pipe of the sinks pouring onto the truck floor, where the cook was working.  

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MORE DIRTY DINING REPORTS

Inspectors were also concerned about the temperature of the food after finding the equipment in poor repair and the cold holding unit not keeping food at 41-degrees or below.

The state issued a stop sale on shredded cheese at 62°F,  pico de gallo at 49°F,  cut cabbage at 63°F, guacamole at 49°F, vegan steak at 60°F, sour cream at 80°F , and raw beef at 71°F.

Also hot food was not hot enough with tomato paste  at 87°F on the stove when it should be 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

Cut peppers also had to be tossed out after the state found the vegetables in a milky white liquid from melting ice, dripping above.

Among the other 28 violations inspectors found?

Inspectors discovered cooked meats in the walk-in unit held more than 24 hours and not properly marked with a date, the cook failing to wash his hands before changing gloves and/or putting on gloves to work with food, no proof of required employee training, the hand wash sink not accessible for employees to use because items were stored in that sink and no soap was provided at that hand wash sink. 

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Taco Bus Statement:

We were shut down for 30 minutes while we took care of a plumbing issue, namely a clogged sink.

All other issues were resolved promptly. 

Rene Valenzuela 

Taco Bus Owner 

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