Bear meat café reopens; ‘I am preparing everything brand new, my chicken balls my egg rolls’

The Mandarin Palace Restaurant in in Fredericton, New Brunswick (that’s in Canada), which was closed after rotting bear meat was discovered in a freezer, has reopened after a reinspection by Department of Health on Thursday.

There’s a note on the inspector’s report that says a food course must be completed as discussed with the business owners Johnny and Tina Tu.

"I will be reopened today," said Tu. "I am preparing everything brand new, my chicken balls and my egg rolls."

Tu said she sat down with government investigators to discuss how and why rancid parts of a black bear were found in her restaurant’s cooler. She told The Daily Gleaner she agreed to keep the bear for one of her customers, but the customer later told her to keep the bear.

Tu didn’t know what to do with it and was getting conflicting advice on how to dispose of it.

"I hope everybody understands that I never touched the bear. I didn’t eat it and I wouldn’t serve it to people," Tu said.

Tu said customers know that chicken is chicken and beef is beef.

"They can taste. They know. There’s the difference. I don’t want people to be scared. I didn’t touch anything with the bear," she said.

The Health Department said the condition of the bear meat created a high risk for cross-contamination. Officials told Tu and her husband Johnny — the restaurant’s co-owners — the cooler where the bear was stored had to be stripped bare of its contents and sanitized prior to reinspection. The department also said it would provide information on food-handling techniques and food safety.