Dirty Dining: Local restaurant shut down for 18 hours after inspectors find live and dead roaches

As General Manager and Owner of the Boston Cooker Restaurant on Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill, Clay McDuff tells ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan, he was shocked when the state closed his restaurant for 18 hours on August 20, 2013.

"That was a bad day. But it's done. It's gone. It's over. I couldn't sleep. It's me. It's my business. It's a reflection of who I am," McDuff said.

The inspector discovered 58 live and dead roaches all over the kitchen near the soda fountain, reach in cooler, small baking oven, salad prep table and three compartment sink.

"I was horrified," McDuff said and believes the roaches came from an outside company's delivery.

"It was definitely a drop. Something went wrong somewhere. We don't know who, we don't know what. But we have them drop everything at the back door now," McDuff explained.

The state also discovered improper temperatures with ground meat, seafood salad, raw fish, scallops, pasta, and garlic in oil all above 41 degrees in the cooler.

"We had a cooler that was having an issue. So we had to buy a new cooler," McDuff admitted.

But it wasn't the first time Boston Cooker was warned by the state about food temperature violations.

On April 26, 2013 inspectors wrote up scallops, clams, fish and spinach all at dangerously warm temperatures inside that same cooler.

"Those are temperatures that could make someone sick. It's not like it's a couple degrees warm. You just didn't realize that cooler was going down hill?" Ryan asked McDuff.

"We were looking for a new one but I didn't realize it was that bad at the time," McDuff answered.

Other food safety issues over the last eight months include a stop sale on ten pounds of lemons improperly stored in ice used for drinks, employees not washing their hands, and cross contamination risks.

"It happened. It is what it is. We fixed it and we did everything he (inspector) said we needed to do from top to bottom," McDuff said.

Even on his day off, Ryan met McDuff at the restaurant and he promised to continue to be hands on.
"So you think this will ever happen again?" Ryan asked.

"Oh no!" McDuff said emphatically.

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