A local Chinese restaurant temporarily shut down by the Board of Health says it won’t reopen because of the board’s “baseless” and “irresponsible” decision.
Hong Jiang said the health board hurt the restaurant’s reputation and made false and inappropriate statements during its Aug. 24 meeting, including exaggerating its history of critical violations. Citing prior problems and recent failed inspections, members voted 3-0 to close the restaurant until it took steps to ensure food safety.
“Your irresponsible bureaucratic decision has already caused serious financial losses on us since August 24, and conditions you required to allow us to ‘reopen’ is financially unaffordable for a small business like ours,” Jiang wrote. “As such, we are forced to permanently close the Red Pepper Restaurant in Framingham.”
The Board of Health took action after learning inspectors repeatedly found critical violations at Red Pepper in recent months, such as uncovered food, improper food temperatures and no towels or soap at a handwashing station
“It is astounding that a Health Board would arbitrarily erase two years between the dates, in an apparent attempt to exaggerate Red Pepper’s problems and mislead the public,” he wrote.
Jiang also disputed statements Chairman Mike Hugo made about previous consultants calling the place a “hopeless mess” and saying no one there was paying attention to food safety. Jiang wrote the restaurant hired one consultant in 2012 to train kitchen staff and then a second who “praised the cleanliness of our kitchen and also expressed satisfaction with our cooperation during his training sessions.”
Jiang wrote that no one was ever sickened by eating at Red Pepper, and customers, in fact, have written many positive public reviews about the authentic Sichuan cuisine.