‘Disgraceful’ UK Chinese restaurant fined ??70,000

My girlfriend during my first two years of university was Alison from Manchester, U.K.

She was nice, not nice, I can’t decide. It was a long time ago.

I really like Amy. And she’s taking me  and Sorenne to Manchester in early Jan. We won’t be eating at Manchester’s Tai Pan restaurant that served customers cockroach-infested rice and was fined £70,000 by a magistrate – who called its hygiene standards ‘absolutely outrageous’.

Manchester Magistrates Court heard
that health inspectors found kitchens at the restaurant in Upper Brook Street, Manchester ‘full of cockroaches’.

They were found living in the rice steamer and dead ones were spotted in the oil used to cook customers’ food.

The restaurant’s chefs were also storing chopping boards on a floor covered in ‘a thick layer of greasy dirt’ and cooking with utensils caked in old food.

Boxes of food were used to hold toilet doors open and many areas of the restaurant’s kitchens were so cluttered with junk they were impossible to clean.

The owners of the restaurant were found guilty of fourteen counts of violating of the Food Hygiene Act in their absence.

UK takeaway boss fined ??7,000 for filthy premises

This Is South Wales reports that Hon Yip Hoh pleaded guilty to 14 counts of failing to meet regulations at Swansea Oriental, in Brynmor Road and was fined £7,000.

Inspectors found his premises in a "filthy" and unhygienic state, including:

• dirty and greasy cardboard and newspaper was used to line trays and to line shelves and also in the operating gas oven;

• cooked chicken placed on top of raw chicken left to defrost at room temperature;

• when asked, staff demonstrated they were not using cleaning materials with antibacterial properties; and,

• no hot water and inadequate drainage facilities.

Eat Me Daily: Creepy Chinese food safety ads

The folks over at Eat Me Daily have unearthed three food safety advertisements produced by the Beijing Women & Children’s Development Foundation.

“(They) are nicely executed but super-creepy: Kids enjoying themselves in playgrounds built out of giant food, etc. But on closer inspection, the pizza slices are topped with shards of glass, the hamburger is a scorpion-burger, sushi is infested with bugs, the jello is spiked with thumbtacks, a beehive stands in for a lollipop, and a landmine is disguised as a melon. The tagline, as translated by
Ads of the World, "Do you really know about his food?"

I have asked a Chinese language colleague to try and translate the text in the adverts.

Addendum, from a Chinese instructor at Kansas State University:

The direct translation does sound like something else going on behind the scene (worries under line)

First one: His world is really safe?
Second:  His world is really worry free?
Third:  His world did you see/watch carefully?

Chinese restaurant to close for good after Salmonella outbreak, failed repeat inspection

Ruby Chinese Restaurant, the beleaguered eatery at the source of a Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 22 people and possibly contributed to the death of another, will close for good.

The Toronto Star reports that word is spreading in north Scarborough’s Chinese community that the immensely popular restaurant will not reopen after a recent salmonella outbreak.

At an emergency meeting on Sunday, according to a source, the restaurant’s three owners are said to have decided to file for bankruptcy on Monday, and have hired an accountant to prepare for auctioning off furniture and equipment.

The 17-year-old restaurant was closed by Toronto Public Health in early October. It failed another inspection two days later, with health officials citing cockroaches and a very dirty floor.

The owners were told by a pest control firm that ending the cockroach problem would require treating the entire single-storey strip mall at 1571 Sandhurst Circle, near Finch Ave. E. and McCowan Rd. As well, customers were cancelling the multi-course banquets that made up the bulk of its business.

Thank you for the Salmonella sir, can I have some more? Customers flock to shuttered restaurant

A Toronto restaurant that made 37 of its customers barf and remains closed after two failed health inspections, is still packing them in – on the front lawn.

John He and Peter Wong waited on the manicured lawn of Ruby Chinese Restaurant Saturday afternoon for a friend to join them for lunch. The men knew about the salmonella, but thought the restaurant would be open.

"Many customers are crying that it’s closed down. "I’m healthy," adding he dines at Ruby about three times a week.

Probably not a consolation to the dead person believed to be linked to the outbreak.

The Toronto Star also reported this morning
that children pulled on locked doors and the curious pressed their faces against the glass Saturday afternoon. The lights were off inside and staff were cleaning. None were available for comment.

Jeeping Huang did not know about the salmonella outbreak or failed inspections. She was surprised, not worried, and will eat at the restaurant again.

"Every restaurant works this way. They can change and make improvements," she said.

Every restaurant does not work this way, and shouldn’t.

Toronto restaurant at center of Salmonella outbreak fails reinspection – still closed

Dumb things to say when 37 people are sick and 1 dead, from the same restaurant: "I eat here regularly and I have never gotten sick. Everyone in the community eats there. It has a very good reputation."

Apparently the Globe and Mail newspaper thinks so too, and published an awesome online review of Ruby, the Chinese restaurant at the center of a Salmonella outbreak. Or it was available, according to a food writer at the rival National Post newspaper, until the restaurant was closed: “review now deleted.”

Howard Shapiro, Toronto’s associate medical officer of health, said,

Despite having almost two days to clean the restaurant, the restaurant failed to "meet the requirements needed to be met to re-open.” The restaurant will remain closed until the next inspection takes place sometime this weekend.

The restaurant was shut down on Wednesday, after two health inspectors found that foods were not protected from contamination, raw meat wasn’t kept at the correct temperature, and utensils and cooking surfaces were inadequately cleaned. There was also a cockroach infestation and Shapiro said the floor was "dirtier than we would find acceptable."

Toronto shuts restaurant after rat sighting

The rats must have seen the Stephen Colbert bear-visiting-Subway bit cause they showed up for a video performance in a Toronto Chinatown restaurant last night.

A passerby originally posted a photo of the rat-in-the-restaurant to blogto.com. Video footage soon followed.

The Toronto Star reports,

Inspectors visited Happy Seven, a Chinese restaurant on Spadina Ave. known for late-night munchies, yesterday after seeing the video, but did not find any signs of vermin.

The restaurant passed an inspection on Oct. 2, and public records show it was inspected an average three times per year.

In February, someone photographed a rat in the window of the Dumpling House, about a block south of Happy Seven. The restaurant was forced to close while it disinfected the premises and called a pest control company. Between clean-up expenses and the temporary closure, the restaurant lost about $10,000, a manager said at the time. It has since re-opened.

Mystery meat

A barfblog fan from Washington, D.C. writes with this tale:

A few weeks ago, I had an alarming experience at a Washington, DC
Chinese takeout restaurant. I normally avoid these sketchy-looking
dives, which are on every corner of this city, but in a moment of
weakness (insanity) decided to inflict some Kung Pao chicken on

I went into Yum’s (ironic name right?) and got in line behind a couple hipsters and a man in filthy clothes with scraggly hair, who looked like he hadn’t bathed or slept indoors in some time.

The not-clean-man had placed three large, bloody styrofoam Safeway containers of some kind of raw meat on the counter. The old Chinese lady behind the counter was saying “Ten dolla! I give you ten
dolla!” and the improperly-sanitized-guy said that was fine. The hipsters and I exchanged wide-eyed glances as it dawned on us that this dude was *selling* meat to the restaurant, meat that he had
somehow obtained from Safeway… probably in an unsavory manner…
anyway needless to say, I left Yum’s, never to return.


Chinese poop turns heads in Lawrence (Kansas)

Bryan Severns, a new food science student at Kansas State and a former chef, writes about the discussion prompted by his Chinese language Don’t Eat Poop shirt, and general hygiene at the Lawrence market:

On a beautiful sunny Saturday in Lawrence, the handwashing word was spread from the Farmers market, through the fabric store, to the Merc. The combination of Chinese characters and the Don’t Eat Poop web address were enough to spark conversations in food safety and educational techniques. The most common initial reaction is wide eyed disbelief that anyone would say that in public, but upon further explanation most people have stories of their own to relate, and the conversation is off and rolling.

In related news, it was nice to see a complete handwashing station set up at the Farmer’s Market. Actually saw it in action, very cool. I’m a total supporter of local producer markets, but quite often the sanitation is left up to individual participants, and most seem to barely get their product out on display, let alone take care of the clean up details. Big points to the Market Manager and city of Lawrence.

On a more general note, after spending three weeks and 3000 miles to get to KSU from Vermont, my wife and I are glad to be here and have a great time learning about the area. Thanks to all who have been friendly and helpful, Manhattan is a very welcoming city.

That’s me with the beard visiting our son at Coast Guard Station Fire Island, New York (below).


Just barf it out and you’ll be fine

The BBC reports that four confirmed and three suspected cases of Salmonella have been linked to the Princess Rose Chinese restaurant in Balloch, West Dunbartonshire, U.K.

The restaurant has been formally closed by West Dunbartonshire Council’s environmental health section pending further investigation.

Medical staff were cited as saying none of the cases were giving cause for concern.

I’m not sure the victims feel that way.