2 restaurants temporarily closed due to 'unsanitary conditions'

By Andrea Ray | Apr 05, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Health Inspector Robert Ethier describes two unsanitary restaurants to Board of Health Chair Dr. Amy Wiegandt.

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.


Comments (9)
Posted by: Andrea Smith | Apr 05, 2017 19:49

Some newspapers publish on a weekly or monthly basis the results of routine and/or complaint-related Board of Health inspections of local restaurants and other food service providers. Doing so serves as a constant reminder to food service business owners that failure to adhere to Board of Health requirements will jeopardize the good reputation they wish to maintain.


All of which suggests the following questions:


How many food service related businesses are there in Wareham?


How often are the food service related businesses routinely inspected? Or are they only inspected when a consumer complaint is received, or a problem is identified because some unrelated issue (such as a gas leak) brings an inspector into the business?



Posted by: Andrea Ray | Apr 05, 2017 20:13

Hi Andrea,

Unfortunately I can't answer the first question without further research, but the answer to the second did come up during the meeting. I have added it to the story. The answer from Robert Ethier was that all food service businesses are inspected twice per year at least.


Posted by: sadie | Apr 06, 2017 05:44

thank you for finding the disgusting conditions and closing them down. I love the idea of the rating being posted for all to see


Posted by: Rosebud | Apr 06, 2017 10:19

I agree--I would love to see it published whenever a restaurant isn't meeting sanitary codes.  However, I'd  rather see a pass-fail system for sanitation; a restaurant either is acceptable or it is not acceptable.

Posted by: Whm4now | Apr 06, 2017 17:26

I agree it would be beneficial if we could see the reports for restaurants.  Hyannis and Boston have this service

Posted by: jjjjjj | Apr 06, 2017 21:40

I worked in my share of restaurants - there's no excuse for the violations described in this story.  It's not difficult to keep food safe and maintain a clean kitchen as long as you spend the time and make both a priority with your staff.

The story states Persy's was a repeat offense - guess we won't be going there anytime soon.

I'd really like to see sanitary grades posted out front on all restaurants, like they do in New York City.  Give restaurants an incentive to excel rather than just get a passing grade.  A lot of people wouldn't go out to eat if they saw what restaurants are like behind the scenes.

Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Apr 06, 2017 22:14

I'd like to see a grading system, too.  Have lived in towns that had them.  A "B" meant a minor infraction.  Most places were "A", of course.  But posting of inspection results would be good, too.  Mostly to insure that restaurants were indeed being inspected on schedule.  I've spent a lot of years living in a lot of places (and traveling to even more), and I've never seen such gross restaurants as in East Wareham.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Apr 07, 2017 06:16

When I was in Needham, violations were detailed when published. Some were as minor as a light bulb out in a freezer. A "pass or fail" labeling could cast a very wrong impression about a restaurant if the only problem found was a lightbulb. Publishing in detail has a dual benefit. People know the degree of the problem in a restaurant and also appreciate the in depth nature of the inspections.

Posted by: rhbinma | Apr 07, 2017 15:47

Yea and at china chef they smoke in there when cleaning up i have seen them when I have stopped at Cumberland farms.


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