Health Board fines China Chef for second food safety violation

Officials say third violation may result in permanent shutdown
By Lydia Goerner | Jun 07, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner The China Chef was fined and received a warning from the Wareham Board of Health after its second violation this year.

China Chef, located at 1 Depot St., was found in violation of the town's health code on May 30 and was notified of the consequences during Wednesday’s Wareham Board of Health meeting.

The restaurant was originally closed for one day in March, when food was found left out overnight and conditions were deemed unsanitary.

On May 30, the Wareham Fire Department received a call about a gas leak in the building. When they went to investigate, they found raw and cooked food that had been left out overnight on the counters of the restaurant. They then notified the Board of Health.

There was raw chicken, five bowls of white rice, a “large amount” of uncooked spare ribs and some cooked food discovered left out overnight, according to Health Agent Robert Ethier.

“This is a serious violation,” Ethier said. “People could get sick and there are a lot of fatalities due to foodborne illness in the U.S.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection estimates that 48 million Americans become sick from foodborne disease each year and 3,000 Americans die each year due to foodborne pathogens.

A co-owner of China Chef, who declined to be identified, addressed the board and said Memorial Day was particularly busy for her restaurant, so no one working at the time was ServSafe certified. ServSafe is a training program that teaches proper food handling procedures and offers certification exams.

The co-owner said she has since gone over how to properly store food overnight with everyone working in the restaurant and is working toward getting more employees ServSafe certified, completing the course in their native language. She said she lost a lot of business after the first violation in March and is eager to rectify the mistakes the restaurant has made.

Ethier said he is concerned that people, particularly children, have been eating food left out overnight at China Chef.

“I have seen a lot of things on this board, but I have never seen this violation twice,” Ethier said.

The board voted to fine China Chef $100 for each of the two food violations. They also told the co-owner that someone with ServSafe certification must be working in the restaurant at all times.

Any future violations may result in revoking the business’ license, “probably permanently,” Ethier said.

China Chef at 1 Depot St. received two health code violations in the last several months. (Photo by: Lydia Goerner)
Comments (10)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 08, 2017 07:32

Twice for the same violation is ridiculous.  $100 is just a slap on the wrist.  Most concerning to me is the fact that the co owner had to go over how to store food overnight!  Refrigeration is commonsense!  How can anyone that works in a restaurant not know that already?  I wonder if these lazy pigs handle food in their houses the same way?

Posted by: Just Me1 | Jun 08, 2017 08:31

I'm puzzled by this situation. How was the restaurant allowed to operate without a certified manager?

Per the MA Massachusetts Retail Food Regulations Fact Sheet:

Does a certified food protection manager need to be present at an establishment during all hours of operations?

No. Section 590.003(A)(2) requires that each food establishment employ at least ONE certified food protection manager.

  • The certified food protection manager must be a full-time equivalent, on-site employee, who is at least 18 years of age.
  • The certified food protection manager must have passed one of the four exams recognized by the Department.
  • The certified food protection manager must be someone who is directly responsible for overseeing the daily preparation of food and the routine operation of the establishment.

When the certified food protection manager is not present at the establishment, another employee must be designated to be the person in charge. The designated person in charge does not need to be certified, but must be trained by the certified food protection manager in food safety and foodborne illness prevention and have the authority to initiate necessary corrective actions.

All food establishments must have a designated person in charge present during all hours of operation.

Posted by: Whm4now | Jun 08, 2017 17:56

Eww gross....never mind the food being left out all night, but how many critters feasted on the food all night long?  Didn't someone recently say they saw Cockroaches running around in a neighboring store?

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 09, 2017 09:37

Weird Al Yankovic Cats In The Kettle Lyrics

Did you ever think when you eat Chinese,
It ain't pork or chicken, but a fat siamese,
Yet the food tastes great, so ya don't complain,
but that's not chicken in your chicken chow
Seems to me I ordered sweet and sour pork,
But Garfield's on my fork,
He's purrin here on my fork...

There's a cat in the kettle at the Peking Moon,
The place that I eat everyday at noon,
They can feed you cat and you'll never know,
Once they wrap it up in dough, boys,
They fry it real crisp in dough.

Chou Lin asked if I wanted more,
As he was dialin up his buddy at the old pet store,
I said not today,
I lost my apettite,
There's two cats in my belly and they want to fight,
I was suckin on a Rolaid and a Tums or two,
When I swear I heard it mew, boy,
And that is when I knew...

There's a cat in the kettle at the Peking Moon,
I think I gotta stop eating there at noon,
They say that it's beef or fish or pork,
But it's purrin there on my fork,
There's a hairball on my fork.

Posted by: Rosebud | Jun 09, 2017 10:13

Wareham-BTS is right--puting food in the refrigerator is just common sense.  These people "operating" this restaurant should not be in the food business.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 09, 2017 10:53

Rose, I was corrected in a conversation about this.  I was told that my "common-sense" assumption was naive and discriminatory.   Refrigeration is commonsense in our developed nation.  The 3rd world illegals working in these places come from disease ridden shack slums surrounded by a moat of their own waste. No electricity...never mind refrigeration.  They don't know any better.  I need to be more sensitive with my assumptions.  They are excused.

Bon Appétit

Posted by: sadie | Jun 10, 2017 08:31

I wonder how many violations they have to get before they shut them down? Do they have the authority to shut them down?

Posted by: sadie | Jun 10, 2017 08:31

I wonder how many violations they have to get before they shut them down? Do they have the authority to shut them down?

Posted by: sadie | Jun 10, 2017 08:32

I wonder how many violations they have to get before they shut them down? Do they have the authority to shut them down?

Posted by: Rosebud | Jun 10, 2017 09:10

To Warehan-BTS, if people are capable of turning on the lights and operating a stove, then they have the capacity to use refrigeration.  Your critics are taking sensitivity to the level of absurd; and I challenge them to eat there.  I've had food poisoning, and it's not pleasant.

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