Roaches, slime may force Szechuan Panda in Gainesville to close

Yes, Mr. Kang, Chinese food can be cooked to food safety regulations.

The Gainesville Sun reports that a Florida judge has recommended shutting down the Szechuan Panda Chinese Restaurant for repeated health violations that were not corrected over several inspections between December 2007 and March of this year.

Administrative Law Judge Ella Jane Davis issued the recommended order Nov. 19 after an Aug. 5 hearing for owner Yu Zeng Kang to dispute a complaint filed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

Daniel Fulton, senior sanitation and safety specialist with the division, inspected the restaurant five times between Dec. 19, 2007, and March 30, 2008. He reported repeat violations that included live roaches in food preparation and food service areas, dead roaches throughout the building, food stored at improper temperatures, an "unidentified slime" growing in a food container, food stored directly on the floor and improper utensils used to handle food.

According to the judge’s order, Kang responded through an interpreter that most of the violations were because "Chinese cooking was not conducive to meeting the regulations."

Kang also testified that dead roaches were swept out every night, however the judge noted that those found the following morning remained until the nightly cleaning, the order said.