WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO OF ANIMAL PARTS BELOW
Photograph added 10:47 pm Monday. Story last updated at 2:53 p.m. Tuesday
An inspector from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture discovered deer brains, tails, heads, tails, spines, and other unidentifiable parts, both cooked and raw, during an emergency inspection of the New China House restaurant at 721 S. Broad St. on December 16. The restaurant was found to be “out of compliance,” according to the inspection report.
According to the report of the food safety inspector, “the PA Game Commission confiscated the following from facility walk-in cooler and freezer after operator was unable to provide documentation that game animal meats being used in the facility were from an approved source: deer brains, deer heads, skinned and whole tails, legs, muscle meat, spines, necks and other unidentifiable parts both raw and cooked.”
The Pennsylvania Game Commission, which is currently investigating the restaurant, reportedly confiscated 4 trash bags, 2 boxes, 3 plastic tubs, one 5 gallon bucket and 9 trash bags of prepared foods. Samples of prepared food found in the restaurant’s refrigerators were taken by the commission to be tested for species identification.
The inspection reportedly came about at the request of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, who had reportedly received an anonymous tip, according to Penn Live, who broke the story on December 30. The site also reported that the restaurant was closed by the Department of Agriculture during the December 16 inspection.
According to the December 16 Department of Agriculture inspection report, 18 violations were noted:
- Facility does not have procedures for e to follow when responding to an event involving vomitus or fecal matter discharge onto surfaces within the facility.
- Refrigerated ready to eat, time/temperature control for safety food prepared in the food facility and held for more than 24 hours, located in the walk-in cooler is not being date marked.
- The Person in Charge does not have adequate knowledge of food safety in this food facility as evidenced by this non-compliant inspection. Repeat violation.
- Two heads of raw cabbage found stored on a dirty tray in walk-in cooler.
- PA Game Commission confiscated the following from facility walk-in cooler and freezer after operator was unable to provide documentation that game animal meats being used in the facility were from an approved source: deer brains, deer heads, skinned and whole tails, legs, muscle meat, spines, necks and other unidentifiable parts both raw and cooked. Amount of parts removed included: 4 trash bags, 2 boxes, 3 plastic tubs, one 5 gallon bucket and 9 trash bags of prepared foods. In addition, sampling of prepared food found in walk-in’s were taken to be tested for species identification.
- Operator observed touching cooked noodles and egg rolls with bare hand.
- Food utensils in kitchen observed stored in a container of water which was not maintained at 135°F.
- Observed wet wiping cloths in kitchen, not being stored in sanitizer solution. Repeat violation.
- Observed wiping cloths in extremely unclean condition in kitchen.
- Observed buckets of food stored directly on the floor in the walk-in freezer and cooler rather than 6 inches off of the floor as required. Repeat violation.
- Rice in rice cooker had an internal temperature of 116F rather than 135F or above. Repeat violation.
- Internal temperature of cooked noodles, and egg rolls held at room temperature rather than 41F or below, measured 56F and above. Discarded Repeat violation.
- Bulk sugar found stored in old, cardboard MSG barrels rather than in containers that are smooth, durable and easily cleanable.
- Cooked chicken and other food in walk-in’s are being stored in plastic bags within cartons which are not smooth, easily cleanable surfaces. Repeat violation.
- Duct tape being used on handles of cleavers. Repeat violation.
- Egg rolls found drained and stored on facility menus. Repeat violation.
- Shelves in the walk in coolerand in kitchen are lined with cardboard and newspaper which are not smooth, easily cleanable surfaces. Repeat violation.
- Bain Marie is missing front access panel and there is an accumulation of grease and dirt inside.
- –Stored meat cleavers and knives contained rust and dried food residue on blades. Repeat violation. Raw cabbage stored on a dirty tray in walk-in cooler.
- The exterior of some food storage containers and pots found to be greasy and dirty.
- The walk-in cooler floor is rusted and no longer a smooth, easily cleanable surface.
- Interior of kitchen is extremely dirty including floor under equipment, shelves and walls.
- Observed a large amount of clutter in kitchen including but not limited to: piles of cartons, newspaper, unused tools and equipment, egg cartons. Repeat violation.
At issue is what the source of the deer meat is, and whether it was used in dishes prepared for restaurant patrons.
When contacted Wednesday by Penn Live, the owner of New China House, who reportedly only identified himself as “Chun,” said “We don’t sell deer meat.”
According to Penn Live, the owner stated: “They took the deer bones – we need for soup for my wife, and for me,” he said , adding that they don’t sell it to the public. The story reported that the owner said they obtained the deer heads and bones from a deer butchering house in Elizabethtown, Pa.
During a compliance inspection the following day, an undocumented meat was discovered:
“An uncovered, metal bowl containing an unidentifiable, internal organ of a pig, according to operator’s wife, was observed stored on shelf of walk-in cooler. Wife states that it is for her lunch however, documentation of source could not be provided,” states the inspection report. 13 other violations were found that day at New China House, according to the PA Department of Agriculture inspection report, including:
- Operator/CFM did not know how to properly wash-rinse-sanitize food equipment and utensils, test food for internal temperature or calibrate a thermometer.
- Employee personal belongings ie umbrella,map, metal objects, socks and other assorted items were found stored with bags of macaroni.
- Numerous pairs of shoes were observed on bottom storage area shelf among restaurant supplies and food.
- Operator’s wife began cutting onions without first washing hands.
- An uncovered, metal bowl containing an unidentifiable, internal organ of a pig, according to operator’s wife, was observed stored on shelf of walk-in cooler. Wife states that it is for her lunch however, documentation of source could not be provided. Discarded
- Observed an unlabeled bottle of vinegar in food prep area.
- Observed buckets of food stored directly on the floor in the walk-in’s, rather than 6 inches off of the floor as required. Repeat
- Bulk flour stored in a broken, plastic barrel.
- Thermometer for ensuring correct temperature of food was greasy and unreadable.
- Operator did not know how to use chlorine test strips.
- Observed deeply scored and stained cutting board near side of wok not resurfaced or discarded as required.
- The chlorine concentration in the sanitizing solution of the 3-bay ware wash sink was 200ppm, rather than 50-100 ppm as required.
- Numerous knives and utensils contained old food residue.
- Interior canister where knives stored was not clean to sight and touch.
- Observed a small cup over hot water spigot on kitchen hand washing sink. Operator states that he did not want it to be used by “other people.” Hot water must be available for hand washing at all times.
New China House remained closed on December, but the restaurant is now open for business. Saturday night at around 6 p.m. there were few cars parked in front of it.
We will update this story as more information becomes available. If you have tips about this story, contact us immediately. You can remain anonymous. Message us through FB, or email editor@LititzDaily.com.
Lynn Rebuck is the editor of LititzDailyNews.com, the award-winning independent news site that captured a 2015 EPPY Awards Honorable Mention for Best Photojournalism in its division. Email her at LititzDaily@Yahoo.com.