Calgary restaurant fined $25,000 for unsanitary conditions

A Calgary restaurant and its owner were fined a total of $25,000 on Tuesday for numerous violations under the Public Health Act over the past four years, including high-risk meats and vegetables stored at room temperature, and filthy equipment and work conditions.

Provincial court Judge Allan Fradsham meted out $12,500 in penalties each to a numbered company that operates Peking Garden Restaurant on Varsity Drive N.W. and its Peking Garden Restaurantowner, Ann Pat.

Alberta Health Services lawyer Ivan Bernardo said charges against other directors were withdrawn following guilty pleas to 11 counts each by Ann Pat on behalf of herself and the company.

“We think $25,000 of fines sends out the right message to the community,” Bernardo said later outside court.

Among the worst violations were frozen meat thawing on the floor under a sink; greasy containers, dirty sinks and washrooms; food debris littered on the ground outside the back door and crows seen landing on the garbage; high risk food such as jellyfish, chicken, beef, rice and meat dumplings allowed to thaw at room temperature; clean dishes exposed to dirty water; numerous staff wearing dirty aprons; a box of meat on the floor in the walk-in cooler in a pond of water; a large amount of fruit flies in the dry storage area; and a tin of meat dripping juice onto the freezer floor.