An Ocala restaurant was forced to temporarily shut its doors last Friday when a health inspector found 18 violations – six of which were listed as high-priority issues.
Hunter’s Place, located at 3541 NE Jacksonville Rd., was closed after an inspector found a litany of issues. Four high-priority violations centered around food. Those included:

• A case of bacon was stored over sauerkraut in a reach-in cooler;
• A pain reliever was stored over a reach-in cooler and cough drops were kept over a prep table;
• An employee touched toast with bare hands and spread butter, forcing the inspector to issue a stop-sale order. And food was not being heated to the minimum required temperature to allow bare-hand contact; and
• No time mark was found on eggs and potatoes on the cookline.

Hunter’s Place in Ocala was shut down recently when a health inspector identified 18 violations.

Other high-priority violations centered around rodent droppings. More than 100 dry, hard droppings were found under a hand sink near the cookline, while more than 160 were found on the floor under a dry storage shelf. Approximately 70 dry, hard droppings were found on top of bins containing cake mixes and another 100 were located on a shelf with a slicer. Other droppings were found in a reach-in freezer at the end of a cookline, on top of a bag in a box of soda boxes and on the floor in a chemical closet.

A high-priority violation also cited rodent burrow or nesting materials found in foam insulation in three places – behind a reach-in cooler on the floor, near a hot water heater and in a chemical storage area, according to a report on file with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Intermediate violations included an accumulation of food debris or a mold-like substance on an interior ice machine deflector plate, in the reach-in cooler on the cookline and in an interior reach-in freezer on the cookline; issues with date marks on lunch meats pertaining to freezing and rethawing; and lack of proof of state-approved training for some employees – a repeat violation.

Eight basic violations included:
• A dead rodent in a trap on the floor under a reach-in cooler in the prep area and another in a trap under a triple sink;
• Buildup of food debris, dust or drink on a rack at the end of a cookline, floor fans on the cookline and the exterior of a make table.
• Three employee’s drinks place over prep tables;
• Glasses on a front counter not properly dried;
• A bin of breading stored on the floor in the prep area;
• Holes near the bottom of a wall under a triple sink, behind a reach-in cooler and behind a reach-in freezer on the cookline;
• In-use utensils – tongs and knives – not stored on a clean portion of food preparation equipment. Tongs were hanging from the door handle of an oven and at the end of the cookline, while a knife was found between lids of a make table; and
• Food was being thawed in standing water in the kitchen.

The following day when the health inspector returned, all violations had been taken care of and Hunter’s Place was allowed to reopen.