RED ALERT: Restaurant with 44 critical violations works to clean up kitchen

2:40 PM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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BRANDON, Fla. - Cali Viejo is a restaurant that racked up 44 health safety violations in a single inspection last month.

Among the problems documented by the state:

  • Temperature violations on cooked pork, along with chicken and beef empanadas
  • Broken insulation falling down near the fryer
  • Mold in the ice machine
  • Live roaches and flies all over the kitchen

Photo Gallery: Restaurant Red Alert: Cali Viego

We stopped at the restaurant at 436 East Brandon Blvd. and were greeted by owner Edgar Vallejo, who agreed to take us on a tour.

Inside, we found a busy lunchtime kitchen. While we did spot one fly, there was no evidence of any remaining roaches. Vallejo says his exterminator is aggressively treating the problem.

"He told them he would come every week for a period of a whole month, and he's going to make sure everything is under control," said Vallejo.

We found soap at an employee hand sink, something that was missing on the inspectors visit, the insulation problem was corrected and we found a cleaned out ice machine.

"Being a small restaurant, we have to make people believe in us and that's through all these things. You have a problem, you correct it, you keep working on it and it never happens again," said Vallejo.

Compared to the original report and what we saw back in the kitchen on our visit to Cali Viejo, this restaurant definitely gets an award for the most improvement we've seen and is actually a restaurant where I'd feel comfortable eating.

We'll keep an eye on Cali Viejo's future inspections, but for now, we give this restaurant the A-OK based on their cleaned up kitchen.

Outrageous Restaurant Red Alert reports:

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Terrible 10: 10 Tampa Bay restaurants with the WORST critical violations

Ceiling Roaches: McDonalds cited when roach falls from ceiling onto diner's food

Finger in salad: Pizza customer claims there was a fingertip in his salad

Baked Roaches: Roaches found baked into Pizza Supreme

More Restaurant Red Alert Reports:

Classic Homestyle Buffet, Tampa 1/11/12 

Frank's Family Restaurant, Hernando 1/18/12 

Big Easy Cajun, Brandon TownCenter 1/25/12 

CiCi's Pizza, Kenneth City 2/1/12 

China Express, Brandon 2/8/12

Daiquiri Deck, Maderia Beach 2/15/12 

Athenian Garden, Tyrone Area, St. Pete 2/22/12

Bob Evans (Ulmerton Road), Pho 97 (Pinellas Park), Kobe Japanese Steak House (New Tampa) 2/29/12 

China Jade, Carrollwood, 3/7/12 

Nicki's West 59th (Bradenton), Top's China Buffet (Brandon), 400 Beach (St. Petersburg) 3/14/12 

Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille (Ybor City) 3/21/12 

Sandy's Restaurant, Indian Rocks Beach 3/28/12

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