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Dirty Dining: Thai Cuisine shut down twice in March for 'too many roaches to count' in the kitchen

Posted at 10:58 PM, Apr 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 23:23:42-04

Thai Cuisine restaurant located at 11078 Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill was quite busy when ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan arrived.

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She met a customer named Jim, as he was walking out of the restaurant.
"How long have you been coming here?" Ryan asked.

"Four years," He said.
"And the food is always good?" Ryan asked.

"Food is always great," Jim responded. 

And Jim was even aware the restaurant was forced to shut down twice in March, but he blames it on inspectors being too strict.  

"So you don't think much of it?" Ryan asked.

"No, they shut down all the restaurants around here. They're very picky," he explained. 

Those picky inspectors found live roaches 'too numerous to count' all over the kitchen on March 2, shutting down Thai Cuisine for 24 hours.

The roaches were spotted near the wok table, stove, cook's line and fryer.

But then a couple weeks later, inspectors forced the restaurant to shut down again, this time for almost two days after seeing over two-dozen live roaches near the microwave, cooler, cook's line, and oven.

So Ryan went inside the restaurant to find out if everything was up to code and she met the manager on duty named 'Kate.'
"Everything is clear and we have everything clean already," Kate explained.

Kate told Ryan she's worked at Thai Cuisine for three years and the restaurant fixed the problems right away.

"So you corrected everything?" Ryan asked.

"Yes ma'am," Kate responded.
But according to the inspection report, the ABC Action News I-team uncovered other serious violations last month with rice noodles, mushrooms, shrimp, and cooked chicken all at temperatures that could make you sick.

In the cooler, rice noodles were at 53°, canned mushrooms at 51°, shrimp at 44°, and partially cooked chicken at 55°.

All cold food should be 41-degrees or below.

Inspectors also saw raw chicken stored over cooked egg rolls, a cross contamination issue and employees with no state approved training. 

And despite 81 violations documented by the state in a one year period, Kate assured Ryan all is well behind the kitchen doors. 

"We do everything the inspector asked us to do," Kate explained. 

And Jim isn't worried either.

"So you'll be back?" Ryan asked Jim.

"I'm always back at least once or twice a month," Jim replied.

Ryan reached out to the owner of Thai Cuisine as well but he never returned her calls.