Dirty Dining: Ferg's Sports Bar temporarily closes for evidence of rodents, roaches, ants & maggots

Posted at 11:54 PM, Aug 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 15:44:52-04

It's one of the most popular sports bars in the Bay Area, known as the 'official gathering spot for Tampa Bay Rays fans' just across from Tropicana Field.

But the place struck out with inspectors big time this week.

On Thursday, August 11, Ferg's Sports Bar and Grille at 1320 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg was shut down.

Our ABC Action News I-Team just learned inspectors forced Ferg's to close after finding evidence of rodents, roaches, ants, flies and maggots.

According to the inspection report, inspectors saw more than 40 live roaches in the bar, on lid packages, near the chest cooler, walk in cooler, cooking line, freezer and oven.

They also documented too many roach droppings to count in the single service cabinet behind the middle bar, 60 rodent droppings all over the kitchen in the condiment cabinet, salt and pepper grinders, inside the pepper shaker top, and wet wipe container.

The state also demanded Ferg's stop using those salt and pepper shakers after finding rodent droppings inside the grinder units.

Inspectors saw live ants crawling on coolers and other equipment outside the kitchen, and saw maggots in the bar's beer bottle bucket.

Just two weeks ago on July 25, inspectors also discovered cold food at temperatures that could make you sick. Cheese slices were kept at 50°, shrimp at 49°, raw chicken at 47°, hot dogs at 59°,  thin rib eye beef at 61°, cheese at 59°, salsa at 69°, raw sausage at 63° and  taco meat at 48°.

All cold food should be 41° Fahrenheit or below in the coolers.

A stop sale was issued on several of those food items because of their potentially hazardous temperatures.

Another stop sale was declared on ice in the ice bin because it was covered with plastic and wood.

Over 100 violations were written up in four of the last inspections reports in the last two weeks on August 11 and July 25, 26 and 27.

To see Ferg's history of inspections, click below:

Ferg's Sports Bar and Grille Statement:
For nearly 24 years, Ferg's Sports Bar has provided the highest quality food and service to the St. Petersburg community. The Health Department found some small issues that we are immediately addressing and will correct.  We are doing everything necessary to not only alleviate those but to prevent them in the future and will continue to be a high standards restaurant. We will be open soon and look forward to serving our many customers again.
Eddie Peters
Marketing & Events Manager
Update 8/12/16:
On Friday, the state returned to Ferg's for a re-inspection. Inspectors did reopen the restaurant but found ten violations still needing to be corrected.
Inspectors documented food held more than 24 hours and not date marked, including hummus.  An extension was given to label all food.
Build up of grease on cooking equipment still there and time was extended to clean it.
Standing pockets of water by ovens and backdoor floors still exist. An extension was given for floors to be leveled and sealed.
Dusty lines over flatbread make table still present.  Time was extended for the restaurant to clean up the lines.
And soil residue build up in multiple areas still there so an extension was given to clean up.
Ferg's released this additional statement on Friday:
Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill was closed overnight for violations of the Health Department code.  This was the first time in 24 years that we had such violations.  We took immediate action to rectify the situation.
The Health Department inspector was back today at 8:00am and reported that we corrected every violation.   Our closure was lifted shortly after 9:00am and we are open for business.
Ferg’s has been a staple in the St. Petersburg community for nearly 24 years and we are committed to providing a safe, healthy and quality experience for our many customers.