YBOR CITY, Fla. — The Hillsborough County Health Department warned the public last week that a server at Hamburger Mary's Bar and Grille in Ybor City tested positive for Hepatitis A and the restaurant was shutting down, due to the issue.
But in a special Dirty Dining report, we're now discovering, the emergency closure was actually due to live roaches and rodents in the kitchen.
On October 24, inspectors went to Hamburger Mary's Bar and Grille at 1800 East 8th Avenue in Ybor City and discovered over 40 live and dead roaches in the bar area, by the reach in cooler on the cook's line, in the alcohol closet in the kitchen, the beer storage area, and by the mop sink and chemical storage area.
And the state found more than 250 rodent droppings and more droppings 'too numerous to count' behind the bar with beverages, alcohol and storage.
Two-dozen flying insects were also seen in the bar area and server station.
Hamburger Mary's also had serious food temperature violations on the cook's line with diced chicken at 47-48°F and shell eggs at 50-degrees. All cold food should be at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below.
And hot food was well below the minimum of 135 degrees Fahrenheit with cooked onions at 94-131°F.
Among the 45 violations documented from October 24-26, inspectors saw raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food with raw pork stored over corn and beans in the walk-in freezer, a cross contamination issue that could make you sick.
The inspection reports also revealed that servers were seen not washing their hands after handling dirty dishes, another server touched their face and grabbed food out of the reach in cooler and a different server touched his ear and nose and then served food.
In addition, an accumulation of food debris and grease was seen in the reach in coolers, walk-in cooler, fryer, cutting board, soda guns, and the interior of the ice machine, food prepared onsite and held more than 24 hours and not properly date marked including chicken, Cuban sandwiches, and Mac and cheese balls.
ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan spoke with Hamburger Mary's owner, Kurt, who told her over the phone that after this inspection, he fired the pest control company and hired a new one. Kurt also hired two new kitchen managers and cleaned up all of the violations found. He now believes his restaurant is one of the cleanest in Hillsborough County. The restaurant has since reopened.