JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With all the new restaurants popping up near the St. John’s Town Center, the options of where to eat are plentiful. However, a recent health inspection report show "new" doesn't necessarily mean clean.
An inspection in November at the popular burger joint, Red Robin, uncovered 19 violations, some even reported to cause foodborne illnesses.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulations reports Red Robin met inspection standards during their first inspection in June.
However, just a few months later, the health inspector was back on site due to a complaint.
That inspection on November 1 uncovered live insects, mishandling food and even raw sewage on the ground.
Flies were found in the kitchen near the food prep area. They also had raw sewage on the ground outside the restaurants' back door.
Their cleaning of silverware and dishes was called into question because the dish machine didn’t have enough chlorine and sanitizer.
The restaurant was even ordered to stop selling some food items because they were not the right temperature.
Forget about using soap to wash your hands. The report says the dispensers were not working either.
As for the staff, they didn’t have proper training certifications.
Customer John Higgins told First Coast News was quite disturbed.
“It was actually really good," Higgins said. "The people were nice. The service was good. You’ll never think that was going on."
Next, we checked out Chuy’s, a popular Mexican restaurant chain.
They passed their initial inspection in August.
The health inspector was back on site in September to follow up on a complaint, according to the health inspectors website.
That inspection uncovered seven violations: Old food stuck on what should’ve been clean plates, Stained or soiled cutting boards, improperly stored utensils and employees were unable to wash their hands because food items were being stored in the sink.
All of these issues were corrected on-site. No follow up inspection was ordered.
Lastly, we checked in on Cheddars. The popular American fare eatery had issues right out of the gate.
Their first inspection on August 14, uncovered five violations. The more minor infractions included restrooms not properly stocked with trashcans, paper towels and soap.
A more serious violation included the walk-in cooler not functioning properly. The restaurant was ordered not to store food there until it was fixed.
During a follow-up visit the next day, the inspector found the issues had not been corrected.
By the third day, the inspector cleared the restaurant as meeting inspection standards although the restrooms were still not properly stocked with sanitary equipment.
Since those initial inspections before Cheddars opened their door, they have not had any reported complaints.
As for Red Robin, a few days later, during a follow-up inspection, the majority of the issues had been corrected except the staff still couldn’t prove they’d undergone training in food safety.
"I’ll give them a chance to get it cleaned up," Higgens said. "Maybe give them a month or so and hopefully they’ll bounce back.”
We reached out to these restaurants for comment will update the story when we hear back.
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