Lifestyle | April 18th, 2023
By: D'Aja Byers
In recent news, Tallahassee’s local Leon County Restaurants underwent an inspection within the last 30 days, showcasing 80 restaurants that passed the review on the first visit and 18 restaurants that did not pass.
To the surprise of many, these local restaurants in the Tallahassee area are known for an influx of college students who are familiar with or even consider themselves frequent visitors to specific locations that have failed to meet their inspections, leaving a lasting impression on most.
The data collected pertains to the cleanliness and safety inspections done on public food service outlets by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants in Tallahassee’s surrounding areas. The inspection reports, as documented, showcase a clear snapshot of the current conditions that exist within the time of inspection.
For many college students who are left unaware of the health and safety violations regarding these popular restaurants, the idea of serious medical complications and issues affects how they think of these specific locations and their opinions on the hazards and implications they may have caused on their health.
Hasani Mundy, a fourth-year business administration major at Florida A&M University, was shocked to hear that his favorite restaurant – Gaines Street Pies – was inspected and received unsatisfactory cleanliness and kitchen operations results.
“It’s shocking. It makes me feel very unsafe as a normal college student who can’t afford to cook all of the time going to a place where safety is not their top priority,” Mundy said.
As someone who doesn’t frequently cook, eating out is the closest thing to receiving a home-cooked meal for most college students. When asked how the shocking discovery makes him feel, Mundy was quick to answer.
“It makes me not want to go to any branches of that restaurant anymore. It’s very hard to trust a place again after seeing the frequent violations,” Mundy said.
Gaines Street Pies results from the inspection detailed the high-priority roach activity, as evidenced by the live roaches found during the inspection. The previous violation was also the restaurant’s failure to ensure proper food management.
Gaine Street Pies has a history of receiving violations for roach activity, failure to display license, and time and temp control.
Typical for most, a period of realization becomes a significant influence in decision-making when finding safe places you can trust when providing food.
“This definitely makes me hesitant to eat out now. I don’t know if the proper safety precautions are being taken during the preparation of food,” Mundy said.
More Bad News
Another shocking discovery made during inspections was the violation of a popular restaurant in a college town known as Little Masa. According to documentation, Little Masa was listed as the restaurant with the most violations in 30 days, as they received a total of seven violations.
As detailed in the inspection notes, Little Masa received four basic violations for commercially processed reduced oxygen on seafood packaging, current failure to display hotel and restaurant licenses, employees with no hair restaurants, and failure to indicate a lack of handwashing signage.
In addition to the previous violations, Little Masa received three intermediate violations for no written procedures for employees to follow regarding diarrhea and vomiting, improper hand washing sinks, and spray bottles containing toxic substances not being labeled.
Willis Charlemond, a fourth-year broadcast journalism student at Florida A&M University, was shocked to hear the news about Little Masa receiving as many implications as they did. As a frequent visitor of the restaurant, Charlemond never expected to regret eating there.
“I can’t even lie, hearing news like that will definitely make your stomach turn. It’s like how do you receive so many violations,” Charlemond said.
The restaurant, which has been a staple in the Tallahassee college town location, puts many college students at risk of health implications due to the convenience of the restaurant for many people who live in the surrounding areas.
“It’s really sad when you think of how many college students eat there and may get sick from the lack of cleanliness and safety precautions,” Charelmond said bluntly.
“I guess I have to learn how to cook now because I definitely won’t be so quick to trust a restaurant anymore,” he continued.
A disturbing reality for most college students has also been a helpful tool for considering many other restaurants they may frequently visit and are curious to find more information about. A newfound experience of researching local restaurants that many people may love can save us from shocking experiences.