Friday, August 07, 2009

Hendry Restaurant Critical Safety Violations

Big V - El Tarasco Mexican - Port LaBelle Inn ''Olivia's"

LABELLE, FL. -- Recent inspections of  LaBelle restaurants found more food safety issues from state inspectors, ranging from no chlorine in El Tarasco's dish washer, to slime in Big V's ice machine, to no licensed food manager or employee training at Olivia's at the Port LaBelle Inn.
The state of Florida's Division of Hotels and Restaurants is required to do periodic inspections of restaurants, hotels and motels each year, and publishes the results of each inspection online.

The Sunday Morning News looked at the most recent health inspections of some Hendry county restaurants and this week includes the Big V at 32 Hall Stree, El Tarasco Mexican Restaurant at 675 West Hickpoochee (SR80) in downtown LaBelle, and the Port LaBelle Inn's new restaurant 'Olivia's' on Oxbow Drive.

Big V had ten violations including eight critical. Seven food safety violations were found on a spot check at El Tarasco, including five critical ones, and four critical violations were registered at Port LaBelle Inn's Olivia's which require a follow-up inspection, which apparently has not yet been done. 

What food inspectors find in violations on an unannounced random visit might very well be assumed to be typical of food service conditions at any time a patron eats at that restaurant. The department cites violations of Florida's sanitation and safety laws, which are based on the standards of U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Food Code. In general, critical violations are those that, if not corrected, are more likely to contribute directly to food contamination, illness or environmental damage.

A summary of the violations found during the May 21st inspection at Big V and El Tarasco, and an April 21st inspection at Port LaBelle Inn are listed below.

Big V Restaurant Violations

02-22-1    Critical. Ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous food prepared on site and held more than 24 hours with not properly date marked. tuna salad, other items in 2 door reach in cooler in back not date marked
03B-03-1    Critical. Potentially hazardous food not held at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above. gravy 117 F Corrected On Site. Food discarded
04-03-1    Critical. Hot holding equipment incapable of maintaining potentially hazardous food at proper temperatures. steam table, some parts of unit not functioning properly.
09-01-1    Critical. Observed improper use of bowl/plastic food container or other container with no handle used to dispense ready-to-eat food. scooping ice with plastic cup
10-04-1    In-use utensil for non-potentially hazardous food not stored in a clean, protected location. ice scoop on top of ice machine
22-19-1    Critical. Observed interior of microwave soiled. food debris
22-20-1    Critical. Observed buildup of slime in the interior of ice machine. as indicated by alcohol swab
33-16-1    Observed open dumpster lid.
35B-15-1    Critical. Observed screen in door torn/in poor repair. back screen door
41B-03-1    Critical. Observed unlabeled spray bottle. bottles with dark blue and yellow liquids, shelf above 3 compartment sink

El Tarasco Violations
05-07-1    Critical. Thermometers not calibrated according to manufacturer's specifications. Corrected On Site. in ice water
20A-10-1    Critical. Dish machine chlorine sanitizer not at proper minimum strength. No chlorine used 0 PPM, sanitizer tube leaked product, manager called service technician; will need to manually sanitize in 3 compartment sink
24-08-1    Equipment and utensils not properly air-dried. by dishware wash area
35B-04-1    Critical. Outer openings of establishment cannot be properly sealed when not in operation. back screen door, not sealed properly, has gaps.
36-11-1    Floors not maintained smooth and durable. walk-in cooler floor
41B-03-1    Critical. Observed unlabeled spray bottle. yellowish liquid, outside storage shed
41B-03-1    Critical. Observed unlabeled spray bottle. bottle with yellowish liquid - by dish machine

Port LaBelle Inn (Olivia's) - Follow up Inspection required

50-08-1    Critical. Establishment operating without a current Hotel and Restaurant license--license expired 12/1/2008.
53A-01-2    Critical. Manager lacking proof of Food Manager Certification.
53A-07-1    Critical. No Certified Food Manager for establishment.
53B-08-1    Critical. No proof of required employee training provided. All public food service establishments must provide the division with proof of employee training upon request, including, but not limited to, at the time of any division inspection of the establishment.


  1. Anonymous4:07 PM

    My My
    Big V has problems what a surprise

    El Tarasco uses city of LaBelle water that they keep telling us is safe,
    isn't there too much Chlorine in the city water to start with

    Olivia's no critical health problems only paper work ,
    unlike those at Rodeo

  2. Anonymous6:00 PM

    WHAT!???!! The City of LaBelle allows their code enforcement officer and his relatives' restaurant to be in a violation????????????? Say it aint so! Excuse me VIOLATION(S) Plural, more than one, several critical. Perhaps we should monitor our own more closely. Oh thats right Big V = Big City Politics. Had to been the State that did this. Certainly not our local idiots.

  3. Anonymous7:56 AM

    You know for a "newspaper" you would think you would use a bit of common sense.
    I dont know whom HENRY is, as I live in HENDRY county.
    All the proof you should need that this is nothing more than an attempt to sound important over nothing.
    All of these "violations" are minor things, for gods sake one of them was for the DUMPSTER lid open!
    Wake up people, this is just HYPE.

  4. Anonymous2:23 PM

    This is exaclty why I do not eat at the Big V or El Tarasco or the Rodeo or Don's ect... the only place I will eat in this town is Olivia's.

  5. Anonymous8:24 PM

    The only place you eat at is olivia's lol you must work there. The place is in a building that is falling down around it.
    Tarascos has great food.
    Big V always was and will be a dive, but hey, sometimes that is what you want. Rodeo, is in a strip mall, you get what you get.

    You folks need to get a grasp on real life, like it or not you are more likely to get sick in your own kitchen than a commercial kitchen that is inspected. That is a fact, look it up! When was the last time you used a sanitary solution on your counters or cutting boards. Go ahead, lie to yourself, you know I am rite.

  6. Anonymous8:57 PM

    Most people I know use sanitary solution on their counter tops and cutting boards daily. I guess you do not.

  7. Anonymous9:14 PM

    Sorry sweetie, you do not have your fact's straight.

    here are just a few real FACT's.

  8. Anonymous2:03 PM

    I wish befor ppl post they would have there fact's straight. It is a fact, that most individuals get food sick at a resturant. So you look it up. lol!

    You have obviously not been to the Port Labelle Inn, the place is NOT falling down, in FACT! the renovations are incredible.

    Ignorance is bliss. Befor you post at least know what your talking about!

  9. Anonymous2:04 PM

    I think it is YOU who needs to get a gasp of "real life" LMAO!

  10. Anonymous2:27 PM

    #2 said it all,lol!!

  11. Anonymous12:00 PM

    Had dinner at Olivia's Wednesday, awesome food, classiest place in Hendry County.

  12. Anonymous8:08 PM

    If you are not using sanitizer on anything you wipe down in a restaurant it is time you closed the doors.

  13. Anonymous8:14 PM

    If you know anything about a restaurant you would know if the county people have anyhing they don't like they will find the most assinign things they can find. I was an inspector for 19 years and I could make or break a restaurant by my inspections. Take it with a grain of salt people. Restaurants are much cleaner than the average home kitchen!!!!!

  14. Anonymous12:21 PM

    Contreras is so disgusting, i had diahrrea for days after i ate there. I personally saw the owner reuse the lemons in the tea.And there are also roaches there you can see the roach poop on the wallscause it leaves a trail.