THE GOLDEN CORRAL   √ - √1/2  AVOID REPEAT OFFENDER HEALTH CODES


THE GOLDEN CORRAL BUFFET  
SPECIFIC LOCATION - LARGO 

10050 Ulmerton Road 
Largo, FL 33771-4250
(727) 501-0885
Bus: Largo Shopping Mall


Golden Corral 2410 
Inspection #5932022 : 01/27/2017   18 VIOLATIONS

LARGO, Fla. - Golden Corral is known for its legendary, endless buffet filled with hot and cold food but last week one location had some uninvited guests running around that buffet and leaving disgusting evidence behind.

The Golden Corral at 10050 Ulmerton Road in Largo had to temporarily close after inspectors found a dead rodent and more than 100 rodent droppings in the buffet's salad bar area, on the floor under the salad dressings, under the fresh fruit area, under the steam table with rice and veggies, under the crackers and soups buffet area, under the dessert buffet and in other areas of the kitchen.

 Inspectors also saw live, small flying insects in the wait station area, walk in cooler, buffet salad area, soda fountain area, ice machine and in the dining room.

And in a special Dirty Dining I-Team report, we uncovered that it's not the first time the restaurant was warned about rodents and insects.

 Just two months ago on May 25, inspectors documented over 30 rodent droppings under the salad bar and flies in the kitchen and dish area.

 And last week food was discovered at hazardous temperatures in the cooler when they should be 41 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.

The state documented cut lettuce at 70°F,  deviled eggs at 69°F, blue cheese at 70°F, cubed ham at 70°F and no date markings on other items for the salad buffet.

Golden Corral also faced several other serious violations including the dish machine not sanitizing properly and required to set up manual sanitization until the it was repaired.

The restaurant also issued a stop sale on six cans of cream of mushroom soup because they were dented.

An accumulation of black/green mold-like substance in the interior of the ice machine and on the soda dispensing nozzles.

 Buildup of food and dirt under the buffet counters and on the floor, grease accumulated near friers and under the cooking equipment on the cook's line, and soiled floor drains in dish area and kitchen. 


Golden Corral's Statement:

Our location at 10050 Ulmerton Road, Largo, FL, was re-opened after taking steps to address a pest problem, including hiring additional staff, cutting down trees near the restaurant and engaging additional pest control support.  The restaurant closed last Wednesday and was cleared to re-open the next day by the health department. The safety and well-being of our guests and employees is our first priority.

Sun Steaks, LLC, a Golden Corral Franchisee


LARGO MALL 1-27-2017
After reopening after sewerage violations had the place closed down for the repairs, it seems they still can’t get it right.  18 Violations, many critical and directly involved with Health Code.   


LARGO MALL, Fla. - MARCH
On March 20, inspectors found over 2 1/2 pounds of raw mini burgers at dangerous temperatures, forcing the restaurant to throw them out. Other food at improper temperatures in the cooler included raw chicken, raw beef, raw steaks, chicken liver, shredded cheddar cheese, and butter milk all above 41 degrees.  And it's not the first stop sale in the last year.

Three months ago inspectors discovered 10 pounds of ribs, 2 pounds of sweet potatoes, 15 pounds of cooked noodles, and 10 pounds of sliced ham all improperly cooled from 135 degrees Fahrenheit to 41 degrees Fahrenheit within 6 hours. On Dec. 17, 2014, all 37 pounds total had to be destroyed because they were at improper temperatures.
And a third stop sale on 10 pounds of roast beef was issued July 24, 2014, because of temperatures that could have made you sick.
So Ryan  Channel 10 went into the Golden Corral to see if improvements had been made and she met District Manager Brian Lindley.  
While Lindley is in charge of several Golden Corral locations, he did not want to talk about the Largo location.  "We have no comments for you," Lindley said.

But the state made plenty of comments two weeks ago.  In March, inspectors documented small flying insects on the salad bar, food prep area and server wait stations and it was a repeat violation.  They also found black green mold around the soda dispensing nozzles and the dish machine not sanitizing dishes properly with water not hot enough, another repeat violation.  "We're doing everything we can to improve situations here and we're constantly working on it," Lindley said.

Other violations to work on over the last eight-months from July 2014 to March of 2015 included 'too many ants to count' in the hot water heater room and more on the dry storage racks. Rodent activity as evidenced by rodent droppings found on bags of seasoning and on top of breaker panels in the kitchen and dead roaches under soda boxes.  But Lindley had nothing more to say.  "We don't allow cameras on the premises. Thank you so much," he replied.  

Golden Corral's Corporate Statement
“We are aware of the items noted within recent inspection reports at the Largo location and are working with our franchisee to ensure that our quality standards are met consistently, including examining equipment maintenance procedures so that temperatures are at all times within the appropriate range.”

When our first Golden Corral ® restaurant opened in Fayetteville, North Carolina back in 1973, a fledgling Golden Corral Corporation took a confident first step in the restaurant business, beginning a tradition of offering all of our guests real, wholesome foods in a family-friendly atmosphere at a great value. 

Nearly 40 years later, Golden Corral ® is well known as American’s #1 buffet and grill.

Golden Corral's legendary, endless buffet features an abundant variety of delicious familiar favorites and continuous new menu offerings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Golden Corral's legendary, endless dinner buffet features an enormous variety with 15 proteins including USDA, grilled to order sirloin steaks, pork, seafood, shrimp, and chicken. We are especially proud to serve USDA sirloin, aged and hand-cut daily by our in-restaurant butchers.


OUR HIGHLY OPINIONATED EDITOR IN FUMING MODE

AL JACOBS KITCHEN - Comments and Translation

💀   They survived serving mediocre food in mass qualities and quantities, using the pig-trough concept to appeal to obesity on all levels.  The term family friendly refers to the fact the tables are so close together the people at the next table better be your family.  

💀  They claim number one because no one challenged them and no one cared to get into a pissing battle with them.

💀  Their butchers, good name for butchers, they sure can cut and gut grizzle.  Although there are eight levels of USDA graded beef there are generally only three USDA grades of beef that you would eat in a restaurant. They are USDA Prime, Choice or Select .  Some places use what called UTILITY or Commercial. Thats the Ponderosa level meat and someone once said a can of premium dog food probably was better.

💀  Two lesser grades are Cutter and Canner which is what you would typically find in frozen pot pie dinners, microwave burritos, hamburgers and other processed food products like dog food . 

💀  USDA Select is not very far above the bottom of the edible barrel, though some major chain stores will try and infer to a consumer that Select is a premium grade that is often marketed with a “Catchy brand”.  Notice they say USDA, not the level.

💀  Beware of restaurants may try to fool an unsuspecting consumer by using the words "prime" and "choice" without being attached with the official "USDA shield". 

💀  Unless prime and choice carries the USDA label, what you are buying may not be the real thing. Some upscale restaurants employ clever wordsmiths to write menu copy that deceives you into thinking you are ordering a USDA Prime Steak when in reality you may be being served the less costly “Choice” version.  I have tried the steak there and one and one, refers to one bite tough but OK and the next bite grizzle.


IT
’S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY
IF THEY SERVED WHAT THEY SHOW ON TV

😡   Wow! Now, thats a lot of corpo-guano.  Now you know why the PR guys at food places make the big bucks.  

😡   This chain is unbelievable at times and you find it hard to rate because if you don’t like something you trash it and try something else.  

😡   Also what might be a first class franchise, a well run ship in one location might be the "LEAKY -TIKI" in another as is the case here.

😡   Nevertheless I have come to the conclusion that most of the things we see that disturb us in the industry are  management training problems.  Overcooked or undercooked food is a training problem.  Rats and roaches, a management problem.  

😡   The Largo location is close to my home and office and if I really don't feel like cooking, don't know what I want to eat, I can go there and drift around till my senses alert me to something.  But when a location gets nailed months in a row, and I see enough violations to chase me away there are no excuses.

😡   It’s up the corporation to drop the franchisee, clean house with a one week stand-down, and advertise a new management team in there. Frankly it’s not well run, poorly managed by incompetents, and a new working manager and an owner to be found.  Unfortunately they tried this and it failed again and again.

😡   At other locations in Sarasota and Orlando it was on one of my food safaris that I noticed new chefs behind the wheel and to be frank, it was like eating in a different place. The food was very acceptable, not over the top great and I never thought I could say that.  So naturally I grabbed one of the hostesses / table bussing / drink bearers / and asked “Wazzup?”  Oh, she replied, "The corporate chefs are here doing training today".  The food at that location wasn’t bad that night, actually quite good.  

😡   On most nights the food at Largo is mediocre, and unfit  for human consumption, I would not rave about it. Its food, commercial food and if you pick and choose right you probably won’t wind up in the ER.  

Skimmed over, pass, scrub pieces left pass,  not appealing, pass.  Consistency doesn't exist and these places run hot and cold.  Best bet is if you don’t like it, dump it and try something else. 

These stores are not like some of the better Vegas Buffets so don't build your expectations. One of my friends was a meat buyer for a chain and he expressed his opinion.  All cows die one day, some by age and some by slaughter but none get wasted.  The slaughtered become steak, the old age victims become hamburger and mixed with as many as 100 cows per group.

 

MY OBSERVATIONS
ON THE CARPET
😡   On one occasion, I saw something that blew my mind.  A senior server and he knows who he is, was asked to clean or vacuum the small 4x6 carpets in from of the self server stations near the salads and vegetable area due to spilled food.  He rolled it up and took the dirty carpets to the dish washing tray dump entrance and exit  where I had been sitting in that section and in line with, so I had a clear view of whats going on.  

He proceeded to shake out the dirty carpets in front of the trays and plates that had just been washed.  I told one of the servers to let the manager know what he was doing.  I doubt if anything was said.  


FRUIT FLIES
😡   One evening, I noticed the pineapple on the counter had black spots on it.  Old no, dirty no, moving yes. MOVING!  The invasion of fruit flies, thousands all over the veggie and salad bar.  I called out to the trainee manger and showed her the problem.  OOOOps not in the training guide, an hour later no one did anything. I called the state inspectors the next morning.
The problem has been reported several times.


COOK AND RECOOK
😡   Since I hadn’t checked in on them in six months, maybe out of fear. I had nothing better to do so I dropped in for a meal.  First their prices have gone up.  Its basically fourteen dollars for an adult (senior) plus two for a drink and with tax fifteen dollars and change.

😡   At close to eight o clock, (they close at nine)  I noticed the boys were refilling all the bins though no one was coming in the door.  Seemed strange for all that cooking to be put out and mixed with the stuff that had been out there unless…. I got it. They were filling the bins for tomorrows lunch and dinner.  The tray removed, hopefully covered in saran wrap and off to the chiller. Only to be reheated the next day.

How many days could old leftovers be in the same tray?  There is a chance three days latter a chunk of whatever could still be in that tray cooked and recooked three times sitting on a heat table eight plus hours a day.

😡   Another thing I found out is the percentage of food rehashed and re-re-prepped for the next lunch was 80+percent. Some foods can’t keep so they are dumped.  Just thinking out loud, two for dinner at thirty dollars puts you in a position to eat at a real franchise with food cooked to order.  Probably healthier and fresher.

😡   The information on this page is obtained from Florida state government records and is compiled from sanitation and safety inspections of named restaurants. Each inspection report is a "snapshot" of conditions present at the time of the inspection. On any given day, an establishment may have fewer or more violations than noted in their most recent inspection. Inspections conducted on any given day may not be representative of the overall, long-term conditions at the establishment. Because conditions can change rapidly, establishments are not graded or rated. This webpage is not the official source of this information and should not be relied upon as such. 


LARGO GETS NAILED AGAIN
CHANNEL 10

"I like to try a little bit of everything here. I like their mashed potatoes,” said G. enjoys the endless buffet inside the Golden Corral on Ulmerton Road in Largo, especially the desserts! (We blanked the name, we didn’t want to embarrass the person, who obviously is not that bright) 

"So the food seemed fresh?" asked ABC Action News anchor Wendy Ryan.
"It did to me," Gxxx said.
"Did it seem hot enough and cold enough?" Ryan asked.
"Yeah," he replied.
But inspectors might disagree.

On March 20, inspectors found over 2 1/2 pounds of raw mini burgers at dangerous temperatures, forcing the restaurant to throw them out.  Other food at improper temperatures in the cooler included raw chicken, raw beef, raw steaks, chicken liver, shredded cheddar cheese, and butter milk all above 41 degrees.  And it's not the first stop sale in the last year.

Three months ago inspectors discovered 10 pounds of ribs, 2 pounds of sweet potatoes, 15 pounds of cooked noodles, and 10 pounds of sliced ham all improperly cooled from 135 degrees Fahrenheit to 41 degrees Fahrenheit within 6 hours. On Dec. 17, 2014, all 37 pounds total had to be destroyed because they were at improper temperatures.
And a third stop sale on 10 pounds of roast beef was issued July 24, 2014, because of temperatures that could have made you sick.  So Ryan went into the Golden Corral to see if improvements had been made and she met District Manager Brian Lindley.  

While Lindley is in charge of several Golden Corral locations, he did not want to talk about the Largo location.  "We have no comments for you," Lindley said.  But the state made plenty of comments two weeks ago.  

In March, inspectors documented small flying insects on the salad bar, food prep area and server wait stations and it was a repeat violation.  I have seen it there on two other occasions. They are called “ Fruit Flies, small and black,  They also found black green mold around the soda dispensing nozzles and the dish machine not sanitizing dishes properly with water not hot enough, another repeat violation.   “We're doing everything we can to improve situations here and we're constantly working on it," Lindley said.

Other violations to work on over the last eight-months from July 2014 to March of 2015 included 'too many ants to count' in the hot water heater room and more on the dry storage racks. Rodent activity as evidenced by rodent droppings found on bags of seasoning and on top of breaker panels in the kitchen and dead roaches under soda boxes.  

But Lindley had nothing more to say. "We don't allow cameras on the premises. Thank you so much,” he replied.  And despite the strong warning from the state, Gxxx will return.  "Is it concerning at all? Or would you come back?" Ryan asked. “I probably would come back,” G. answered.


HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Golden Corral, New Port Richey, Florida 
Investigated by Action News ABC

abcactionnews.gifPORT RICHEY, Fla. - Golden Corral is known for its endless buffet. But just last month, the restaurant was shut down for rodent activity, with the inspector commenting that the number of rodent droppings found were "too many to count".  Our camera discovered maggots, flies, and garbage littering the ground near the dumpster, just a few feet from the location on U.S. 19 in Port Richey.

This is the same violation state inspectors found just last month. And according to recent reports, they've had other problems, including rats.  Daisy and her husband Henry are regulars at the Golden Corral and were surprised to hear the Port Richey location was shut down in April for rodent activity.

The inspector found fresh rodent droppings and wrote, "There were too many to count" under all the buffets, on dry food in the storage room and on kitchen baseboards and equipment.  "I just told her I thought this place was dirty," Henry told us.  So we went into the restaurant to get some answers.
"Recently, you were shut down for a rodent infestation?" we asked. "No, we had a hot water heater that went out," said Glenn Curtis, the Golden Corral manager. However, inspectors indicated on their emergency suspension of license report that the facility was closed due to a rodent infestation.

And state inspectors had been back eleven times over the past 14 months to make sure critical violations were fixed. "You also had some temperature issues as well, especially with food on the buffet. Does that concern you as the manager?" we asked.

"It's always concerning when they're not at the right temperature. But we're in full compliance with the health department. We take temperatures 4 times a day to make sure we are in compliance," Curtis responded. But that wasn't the case when inspectors checked on the restaurant last month.

On May 25th inspectors found beef, plant foods, milk, and ice cream all above 41 degrees, which could make customers sick. And on May 6th, May 18th, and May 19th inspectors found chicken on the buffet not hot enough, which can also sicken patrons.

"In looking at just the last year of reports...130 critical violations, 160 non-critical. That's really high, does that concern you?" we asked. "Oh yeah, it would be very concerning. That's why we take it real serious with the health department. Whatever they find, we try to react immediately to that, whatever the situation," Curtis said. And he's confident his restaurant is now clean.

"We wouldn't open if we didn't think it was a safe environment," Curtis said. We spoke to Golden Corral's corporate office. Bob McDevitt, Senior Vice President of Franchising, said, "The goal of every restaurant is to get the highest inspection grades. This kind of inspection is unacceptable.”


2016 COMMENTS FROM OTHERS
SOME PRETTY UNUSUAL

😡   They should check the one on 56th St. In Tampa. It’s just horrible. I watched a server pick up a piece of food from the ground and lift up the tomato container and put the trash in the ice used to keep the food cold.. Haven't been back since...

😡   All places that prepare food have roaches, I don’t mind, love the movie Joe’s Apartment” comment from a totally frickin moron/idiot.

😡   Then why does the Pinellas County schools keep handing out free passes to here when the kids receive an award? Trying to poison our kids?

😡   We live in Springfield, ILL and used to do family breakfast there every Sunday.  And when I saw dirt and grease hanging from lights over dessert bar I talked to a very rude manager. She basically asked well what do you want me to do... I even wrote to cooperate headquarters with no response. needless we took our family of 12-14 people elsewhere. very poor business practices

😡   I have been to golden coral and will not be back... Employees don't seem to care, and diners who go in there are absolute PIGS. Every time we've been in there, there is food on the floor, food all over the tray areas, cross contaminated salads, dressings and other items....I mean I don't go to a restaurant to be a pig and leave a mess....bunch of savages.

😡   There are some good Golden Coral Restaurants, seems some changes in management are needed in Largo (go figure). The one in Port Richey was closed by Corporate and re-opened, very good now.  Spring Hill and Inverness both have excellent locations.  The one in port Richey is awful. It’s disgustingly bad.

😡   It's funny that this article only mentions the fact it's a franchisee at the end. Should be talking to the owner not corporate.
I’ve been there once and I will never go there again when we walked in there were dirty plates just sitting on tables the Brick flooring did not looked washed at all the rice that I had was over heated it was hard and there were kids playing in the chocolate fountain.

😡   I will never to to golden coral again, the one in port Richey has been closed twice. Once for rats and roaches and temperature issues and recently for bed bugs on a booth and table, totally disgusting !!

Feb 2017

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