Popular seafood restaurant temporarily closed following consumer complaint


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Ocala — Sam’s St Johns Seafood #3, located at 7119 N. U.S. Highway 441, Ocala, was immediately shut down after an emergency order was issued on May 15, following a consumer complaint. The restaurant was allowed to reopen on May 16, but will need a follow-up inspection after a time extension was given.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation cites violations of Florida’s sanitation and safety laws, which are based on the standards of U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code. High Priority violations are those which could contribute directly to a food-borne illness or injury and include items such as cooking, reheating, cooling and hand-washing.

Many of the offenses were repeat violations.



  • Build-up of food debris, dust or dirt on nonfood-contact surface. Exterior of shelves on cook line. Exterior of all equipment on cook line. Exterior of dish machine. Exterior of sugar bin.
  • Clean glasses, cups, bowls, plates, pots and pans not stored inverted or in a protected manner. Bowls stored on top shelf in dish room not inverted.
  • Dead roaches on premises. Two dead roaches in trap on wall in dry storage room. Two dead roaches on floor in dry storage room.
  • Employee beverage container on a food preparation table or over/next to clean equipment/utensils. On make table at cook line.
  • Employee personal food not properly identified and segregated from food to be served to the public. Peanut butter and jelly open on shelf in kitchen.
  • Employee personal items stored with or above food, clean equipment and utensils, or single-service items. Back pack observed above cans on can rack. Purse and hand lotion stored above paper towels in room where bag in the box soda located. Cell phone on shelf on cook line.
  • Equipment in poor repair. Handle of microwave missing on microwave on cook line.
  • Interior of microwave soiled with encrusted food. Observed food debris in microwaves on shelf located on the cook line.
  • Reach-in cooler gasket torn/in disrepair. Gaskets on both doors of reach-in in wait station torn. Walk-in cooler gasket torn/in disrepair.
  • Single-use gloves left on a food-contact surface. Used gloves discarded in fry box on cook line. Employee removed gloves.
  • Smoking in an enclosed indoor workplace. Smell of marijuana in dry storage room near wait station.
  • Wall soiled with accumulated grease, food debris, and/or dust. Observed buildup on exterior of hood at the end of the cook line, wall behind reach in where fish stored for cook line. Grease accumulated on floor throughout kitchen. Ceiling tiles throughout kitchen greasy and soiled.
  • Water leaking from pipe. Pipe underneath three compartment sink leaking.
  • Well water testing report/documentation is not available upon request.
  • Live, small flying insects in kitchen, food preparation area, or food storage area. Three flies in kitchen by the back door.
  • Potentially hazardous (time/temperature control for safety) food hot held at less than 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Potato in cooler on cook line at 71°.
  • Rodent activity present as evidenced by rodent droppings found. 22 dry hard droppings on floor in room containing bag in box soda.
  • Rodent burrow or rodent nesting materials present. Under ice machine, plastic, paper and food debris. Wall and cove molding in disrepair. In dry storage room containing bib sodas: paper, medicine, plastic and torn ceiling tiles.
  • Stop Sale issued due to adulteration of food product. Brown debris in bin of sugar. Moldy lemon on shelf in walk-in cooler. Manager removed lemon and sugar.
  • No paper towels or mechanical hand drying device or soap or employee hand wash sign provided at hand wash sink. No supplies observed at hand wash sink at the end of the cook line by walk-in cooler.
  • Spray bottle containing toxic substance not labeled. Spray bottle on top of dish machine with green chemical not labeled.