Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories looking at restaurant inspections. We have broken it down into two categories: fast food restaurants and sit down restaurants. We will write a story for each local municipality for each category. This story takes a look at fast food restaurants in Sebring. Because there are so many fast food restaurants in Sebring, there will be a second story appearing in a future edition to cover the remaining facilities.
SEBRING — Thousands of us rush to the local drive-thru for lunch or grab take out food on the way home from work because we just don’t feel like cooking. Besides the cost of the food, you’re paying for convenience.
Could you be paying with your health? Perhaps, if cleanliness and food safety standards are not adhered to. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation performs yearly inspections of restaurants before issuing an operational license.
The DBPR inspections are done throughout the year and may have widely varying dates. The most current inspection information is being used in this article.
The inspections have different levels of violations based on the potential health threat to customers: high priority, intermediate and basic violations. This article will detail restaurants that have high priority violation(s). Those establishments without any violations will be noted as well.
Burger King at 2205 U.S.27 in Sebring met inspection standards on March 29, 2019. No violations were noted.
Dairy Queen, located at 2255 U.S. 27 North, was inspected on Dec. 5, 2018 and was cited with six violations: one high priority, three intermediate and two basic violations.
The high priority violation concerned food safety. The inspector said food was “held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit; cheese 51 degrees cold holding.” Moving the cheese to the bottom of the cooler corrected the problem.
The three intermediate violations were accumulation of black/green “mold-like” substance inside the ice bin in the drive-thru area: encrusted material on a can opener blade and no current certified food service manager on duty where more than four people were working with food.
The basic violations were an employee’s beverage container was on a food prep table near clean utensils. The matter was corrected by moving the cup. Another violation was not having a hand washing sign at a hand sink near the ice machine.
Warnings were given with all the violations. The report states a follow-up inspection was required, but there is no record of that being done yet.
The McDonald’s at 3115 U.S. 27 would have done very well except for one item that earned them a high priority violation. The restaurant was cited for having raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food in the reach-in freezer and not all products were commercially packaged. The inspector reported raw frozen steak over frozen hash browns and frozen fries.
At Captain D’s Seafood Kitchen at 3400 U.S. 27 South, the inspector wrote two high priority, one intermediate and three basic violations.
One of the high priority violations, which could potentially get someone sick, is “cooked meats and poultry being hot held less than 135 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Cooked crab holding at 107 degrees.” The manager threw the contents away to correct the problems.
The other high priority violation was an employee who did not wash their hands before changing gloves to work with food. The employee was instructed on proper precautions and that took care of the violation.
A cutting board that was stained was at a prep station, which was considered an intermediate violation.
The three basic violations were the storage of canned food on the ground near a walk-in freezer; single service articles improperly stored; and food not covered in the cooler.