Popular Tampa restaurant reportedly has over 200 food safety violations

The restaurant has been around for 68 years.

WFTS reported that Florida food inspectors wrote 226 violations from February 2015 to January 2016.

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When shop owner Michael Brocato spoke to the news station, he did not want to be shown on camera.

Violations documented by inspectors include food stored at dangerous temperatures, cracked tiles, no employee hand washing signs, no soap in the bathroom, unsealed concrete, food improperly dated and marked and mold in the ice machine.

"We acknowledge the fact that there have been administrative complaints filed against us," Brocato said in a statement. "Most of those complaints were corrected on site, with an inspector present. However, some corrections take a longer time to process. Therefore, not all complaints have been rectified."

He said that some violations are because the business has operated in the same building since 1948. Since it has grown in popularity, the shop is renovating and expanding, which Brocato said costs time and money.

Brocato also said the state has a problem with the expansion and has not approved it, leading to warnings and complaints. He said he and other family members work at the shop 24/7.

"I've been doing this for too many years to be anything but open," Brocato told Tampa Bay Times. "It's not a dirty restaurant, and I have nothing to hide."

Inspectors said sinks where food was being prepped was uncovered and open to outside elements. Brocato said it costs money to cover the space, but he is working on it.

Because the required fix takes time, Brocato has missed the deadline over and over, resulting in repeat violations.

In 2015, the state reportedly fined the shop $700 for violations that were not corrected. In 2014, fines were $1,500.

"Through the years, we have always had an open door/open kitchen policy," Brocato's statement said. "Customers can see the kitchen and watch their food being prepared while they wait for their order."

Brocato said that some of his catering jobs have been canceled. He has reached out to long-time customers and told them he will give them a kitchen tour to alleviate any concerns.

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