2 restaurants temporarily closed due to 'unsanitary conditions'
Two local restaurants were temporarily closed last month, after Board of Health inspections found that they did not meet expected sanitation requirements.
China Chef, at 1 Depot St., was shuttered mid-March. Wareham Health Agent Robert Ethier had initially arrived on March 20 for reports of a gas leak in the neighboring Cumberland Farms. The odor of gas had spread into China Chef, located next door.
When Ethier and Health Inspector Patrick MacDonald entered the restaurant, they found a large amount of food left out overnight.
"There were bins of chicken left out to cool, tubs of rice and garbage bins full of batter with no covers," MacDonald told board members at their Wednesday afternoon meeting. He also noted a heavy buildup of grease and food.
The Board of Health temporarily shuttered China Chef, which was only allowed to re-open the next day after a thorough deep clean by a commercial cleaner and approval from the Board of Health.
Persy's Place, at 3198 Cranberry Highway, was temporarily closed in late March when Ethier and MacDonald found conditions similar to the kitchen in China Chef.
Ethier noted that it was not the first time that unsanitary conditions had been found at the restaurant. MacDonald said that the restaurant had a large grease buildup behind machines, which hadn't been cleaned.
Food buildup was also a problem. The restaurant prepares home fries for breakfast, and the potato residue between two machines was thick enough to fill the six-inch space, officials said. The restaurant was only re-opened after a thorough deep clean and approval by the Board of Health.
Ethier explained that he and MacDonald inspect food-related businesses at least twice per year according to state guidelines. "But we're generally there more often, just to check in," he explained. This does not count consumer complaints, which bring a separate, individual inspection.
Ethier brought up the idea of moving to restaurant grades for inspection, as other towns have done.
"That way," he explained, "there would be a big sign right in the window with the grade for everyone to see. It would be a good incentive to keep everything clean."
He promised to bring more information in the future if the Board of Health was interested in moving forward with a grading system.