Tampa’s Authentic Mexican food restaurant receives over 50 violations in 5 months

Ismael Rivera loves the authentic Mexican dishes at Taco Rey Mexican Grill on 1441 East Fletcher Avenue in Tampa, eating there three times a week.

Taco Rey Mexican Grill“I got three tacos coming in with rice and beans. I got a whole meal coming in for the whole family,” Ismael said.

But Ismael had no idea the state found insects, crawling and flying near his family’s food.

“Yeah, I didn’t know that about them,” he admitted.

Our ABC Action News I-Team has discovered inspectors saw live and dead roaches in the reach-in cooler, on top of the freezer, and on floors, walls and boxes in October.

And ‘too many flies to count’ near produce along with over 50 more flies in other parts of the kitchen, according to the inspection report.

“That’s a little upsetting to hear that, since you figure that’s where you eating,” Ismael said.

And it’s not just bugs.

We’re just uncovering the state finding pork and eggs at dangerous temperatures that could make you sick.

Pork was sitting on the cook’s line at 84 degrees and raw shell eggs were left out at room temperature at 85 degrees.

Cold food should be 41 degrees or below and hot food should be 135 degrees or above.

So what’s management doing to fix the food safety issues?

ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan went to Taco Rey to find out.

“I wanted to talk to someone about your recent inspections from the state,” Ryan asked the employee at the front counter.

But that female employee said the manager and owner were not there and wouldn’t be back until the next day.

No one could answer to the 52 violations documented in the last 5 months, including employees thawing beef at room temperature, employees failing to wash their hands, plastic containers of lard on the floor along with to-go boxes, no proof of required employee training and black/green mold in the ice machine.