The beginning of each month brings Spring Hill Now’s Dirty Dining article…and a feeling of nausea. The pit in my stomach while I review the Division of Hotels and Restaurants’ inspection results comes not from being grossed out, but because it doesn’t feel good to put other people’s dirty business (pun intended) in the public eye. Spring Hill Now was started, in part, to support local businesses so that they thrive and our community grows. Writing negative things about local businesses feels contrary to that mission. Still, it is equally important for customers to be informed and for businesses to take cleanliness seriously.
Last month 15 Hernando County restaurants passed their inspection on the first visit and one passed with zero violations (shout out to The Grub Tub!). 15 others failed their inspection on the first visit, including some of the area’s biggest chains and most popular eateries. See below.
Chinatown (5447 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill) had the most violations in the county. Of the restaurant’s 26 violations many were cited as repeat issues and a few were serious, including food being stored at potentially hazardous temperatures and raw animal food stored over or with ready-to-eat food.
Seven Hills Golfers Club (10599 Fairchild Road, Spring Hill) had an exceptionally disturbing report with six “high priority” violations including the presence of live insects described as “small, black, oval shaped,” rodent activity, raw animal food stored over ready-to-eat food, ready-to-eat (potentially hazardous) food marked with a date that exceeds 7 days after opening/preparation, black/green/ pink mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine (repeat violation), and more.
Papa Clydes Ice Cream (1217 Kass Circle, Spring Hill) was temporarily closed down on May 4, 2017 and it literally breaks my heart to report this because they’ve been our family favorite for 30 years. They were cleared to reopen two days later and passed a second follow-up inspection on May 24th. Note: There are two Papa Clyde’s locations and I want to be sure our readers know that Papa Clyde’s Too, located at 4129 Mariner Boulevard, has passed all of their inspections on the first visit!
It is important to understand that not all violations are created equal. Many violations are not serious and are easily resolved, such as hand washing signs not being posted and current licenses not being displayed. Many violations are kind of gross but still easily resolved, such as employees not having their hair properly restrained and surfaces not being properly cleaned. Some violations are dangerous, such as chemicals being used around food and food stored at improper temperatures. Most of the restaurants had minor violations, remedied their issues, and passed their follow up inspections so be sure to check out exactly what violations a particular restaurant incurred (click here to search) before taking your business elsewhere.