Colombian basil tested in Miami might have Cyclospora

The Bradenton Herald in Florida, just 30 minutes from beautiful Anna Maria Island in the Gulf of Mexico where the family and friends have vacationed for years, reported for the second time in three months, there’s a multistate, multi-brand organic basil recall prompted by the possibility of cyclospora after testing done in Florida.

The recall announced by Shenandoah Growers’ last week involves a couple of brands also in November’s massive recall, which was ignited by Florida Department of Agriculture testing. This product pull, according to the company-written, FDA-posted recall notice, followed FDA testing in Miami of basil grown at Puerto Vallarta Herbs SAS farms in Colombia.

Popular sandwich shop in Bradenton cited for roach activity

I spoke with my friend Gary this a.m., and told him once again how much I appreciated him throwing a few bucks my way while I actually tried to think about food safety issues.

He asked if I was going to the International Association for Food Protection meeting in Tampa this year.

I said, nah, I’m not a prof, no funding, although it would be fun to catch up with everyone, and stay at Anna Maria Island once again, about 90 minutes from Tampa.

We live in Brisbane, we’re used to Florida in the summer.

But the surrounding restaurants sorta suck.

The Wicked Taco Cantina, 101 7th St. N., Bradenton Beach, was cited on May 24 for holding cold food at temperatures above 41 degrees, including pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. The establishment also was cited for improper hand washing procedures. Per the report: “Server handled soiled dishes or utensils and then picked up plated food, served food, or prepared a beverage without washing hands. Observed employee handle dirty dishes from customers table, then prepare a personal beverage at soda machine. Observed employee use ice scoop. No hand washing observed. Observed server handle dirty dishes from customers table, sweep floor then make a customer’s beverage. No hand washing observed.”

The hand-washing violation was again noted on an inspection two days later. In the May 26 inspection report, the inspector said corrective action was taken.

On Thursday, inspectors visited The Beach House, 200 N. Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach, to check on a violation they cited the restaurant for during a May 19 inspection: “Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food cold held at greater than 41 degrees Fahrenheit,” per the report. Items in the cooler included dairy mix, raw shrimp and tomato sauce. Similar issues were observed with other coolers in the restaurant. The inspectors noted that corrective action was taken on the same day.

To search for restaurants and inspections, visit

Bradenton, you can do better.

Especially if you’re going to have a few thousand food safety folks hanging around.


‘No AA cause I don’t quit’ Cockroaches lead to closure of Jose’s Real Cuban Food in Florida

We’ve driven by this place during our various times in Bradenton on Florida’s Gulf side, and decided to pass.

joses-real-cuban-foodIn the eight years of operating his business, the owner of Jose’s Real Cuban Food Jose Baserva says he has had mostly minor violations resulting from health and food safety inspections.

A recent closure caused by more serious violations isn’t stopping him.

“You know why I don’t go to AA?” owner Jose Baserva said. “Because it’s for quitters, and I’m not quitting. I’m not going anywhere.”

In the past month, Jose’s Real Cuban Food, 8799 Cortez Road W., has been closed temporarily three times by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Inspectors found at least one high-priority violation during each visit. The state defines high-priority violations as “those which could contribute directly to a foodborne illness or injury.”

“You’re gonna have roaches,” Baserva said. “I’ve never been in a restaurant where I haven’t seen one. We don’t have roaches having dinner with my customers or anything like that.”

Baserva said he hires a professional exterminator for services once per month and sprays pest control himself twice per month.

The most recent closures were spurred by a complaint to state regulators. Complaints led to 11 out of the 13 inspections since April 2013, according to the state database.

Representatives from the state regulators did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.


Florida case of vibrio linked to oysters

“A raw oyster can be like a petri dish.”

So says Dr. Roger Danziger, a Bradenton (that’s in Florida) allergist, and why bacterial infections are why restaurant menus typically caution people against eating raw seafood.

The Manatee County Health Department is investigating a local case of a bacterial infection contracted from eating oysters.

Until the investigation is complete, the department is disclosing little about the case, including the possible source of the tainted oysters or even the date of the report.

The department did identify the infection as stemming from the bacteria species Vibrio vulnificus.