A Summerfield restaurant was allowed to stay open last week despite a health inspector finding nine violations – four of which were labeled as high priority.
The inspector visited Little Joey’s Italian Restaurant, located at 16840 S U.S. Hwy. 441 in the Baylee Plaza, on Tuesday, Nov. 6 and reported finding several issues with items used to make food dishes, a report on file with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation states. Those included:
- Potentially hazardous cold food held at temperatures higher than 41 degrees. The inspector reported pizza sauce at a reach-in cooler near the cookline being held at temperatures ranging from 46 to 48 degrees. In addition, ricotta cheese was measured at 57 degrees and moved to a freezer by a manager.
- Ready-to-eat food marked with a date exceeding seven days after opening/preparation. Ham-and-cheese rolls in the reach-in cooler and milk at the server station were dated Oct. 27.
- A stop-sale order was issued on the ham-and-cheese rolls and the milk.
- A stop-sale order was issued regarding the pizza sauce that was stored at higher temperatures than deemed safe by the inspector.
An intermediate violation also was issued regarding sausage that was being stored in the reach-in cooler. It was cooked Nov. 2 but no date was marked, the report says, adding the issue was resolved by a manager.
The inspector also cited Little Joey’s for four basic violations, all of which were corrected immediately. Those included:
- A bowl with no handle was found inside flour mix.
- A cloth was in an eggplant container inside a walk-in cooler.
- An employee’s cell phone was sitting on a cutting board.
- To-go containers at the server area were not inverted.
This latest inspection isn’t the first time Little Joey’s has faced a problem with health inspectors. The restaurant was temporarily closed in February 2017 after a health inspector found three high-priority violations, including roach excrement near a pizza-making table and more than 180 dead roaches on the floor under refrigeration units and at the server station.
Following that closure, Little Joey’s met inspection standards in March and was cited for only three basic violations. Those included old food stuck to clean dishware, soil residue buildup on a non-food contact surface and a wiping-cloth chlorine sanitizing solution not at proper minimum strength.
This past April, the restaurant also passed an inspection after being cited with one high-priority, one intermediate and eight basic violations. The most serious of those included a container of headache medicine being stored on a shelf over soup in the server station and lack of documentation to show how long butter had been held in the restaurant.