For the second time in fewer than six months, a Charlottetown Chinese food restaurant has been forced by provincial health inspectors to close its doors.
And, there is no word on when Unique Wok on Grafton Street may re-open.
Provincial health officers dropped by the restaurant for a routine inspection on Jan. 21 and noted 30 separate violations, including the presence of insects and rodents.
“The violations that are of most concern to environmental health are the critical violations,’’ said Ryan Neale, senior environmental health officer for the Department of Health and Wellness.
“These are violations that, if left unchecked or if the standard slips, there is the real potential for the public to be impacted . . . (there is) the potential for food-borne illness.’’
Some of the critical violations noted include cold holding temperatures. Food was not being maintained at 4 C or colder. And, when it came to hot holding temperatures, food was not being maintained at 60 C or hotter.
“Another critical standard to uphold in a food premises is good hand hygiene and, in this case, neither of the hand-washing stations available to staff were functional and, therefore, it impeded their ability to wash their hands and have good hand hygiene practices.’’
Inspectors also noted a significant amount of food had been thrown out due to the potential for cross-contamination, and there was evidence that cross-contamination existed.
Neale said in one case there was no separation between raw meat and potentially ready-to-eat foods.
“You can’t have raw meat coming in contact with foods that could be ready to eat.’’
Food contact surfaces were also not made of smooth, non-absorbent material that could easily be wiped clean, and Neale added they weren’t kept in a clean and sanitary state.
There was also an issue with dishwashing practices. Neale said there was no way, at the time of inspection, that dishware and food preparation equipment could be sanitized.
“And, there was evidence of insects and rodents noted during the inspection. The operator did attempt to have a pest control program. That was noted, but it was certainly not effective.’’
Unique Wok was previously closed on Aug. 15 due to a serious number of violations. It re-opened on Aug. 22.
However, Neale said the department isn’t even considering letting the restaurant re-open anytime soon.
“Our focus over the next couple of weeks will be to meet with the operator to discuss how he plans to meet the requirements outlined in the report that was provided to him and, more importantly, how he intends to maintain the standard that’s required in order to operate his facility safely and protect public health.’’
- P.E.I. provincial health inspectors conduct more than 3,000 inspections of food premises every year
- The Department of Health and Wellness also carries out more than 1,500 consultations with food premises operators each year