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Ocala

Ocala Mexican eatery shut down after sewage bubbles up through kitchen drains

A popular Mexican restaurant in Ocala was temporarily closed by a health inspector last week for having 14 violations – one of which involved standing wastewater with food debris bubbling up through floor drains in the kitchen.

The El Toreo Bar & Grill, located at 3510 S.W. 36th Avenue in Ocala, was temporarily closed by a health inspector last week after 14 violations were found – six of which were listed as high priority.

The inspector ordered the doors closed this past Friday afternoon at El Toreo Bar & Grill, located at 3510 S.W. 36th Avenue. Besides the issue with the sewage, five other high-priority violations were cited, according to a report on file with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Those included:

  • Ceviche made with raw fish stored on a shelf in a walk-in cooler of cups of dressing;
  • Stop sales issued after tortilla shells were found on the kitchen floor in wastewater;
  • Cheesecake held at 51 degrees Fahrenheit in a dessert cooler;
  • No time markings on salsa at the front counter; and
  • Two live flies in the bar area.

Four intermediate violations also were recorded. Those included:

  • An accumulation of a black/green mold-like substance inside the ice bin at the front counter and a pink substance on top of an ice machine near the chute;
  • A handwash sink not accessible for employees to use due to items stored in it, a knife in the sink at the cookline and a business card in the sink in the ware wash area;
  • Chicken prepared the previous day in a reach-in cooler at the end of the cookline; and
  • A spray bottle containing an orange chemical that wasn’t marked in the ware wash area.

Four basic violations included:

  • Floor equipment under the bar soiled with accumulated dust, grease or food debris;
  • Multiple employee drinks on a prep table near silverware;
  • Containers of chips on the floor in the kitchen and at a server station; and
  • Ice buildup on the back wall of a dessert cooler.

The inspector returned to the restaurant later in the day and reported no violations. The eatery was allowed to reopen at 4:55 p.m., the report shows.

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