OLD HICKORY, Tenn (WKRN) – The Health Department is explaining how the No. 1 Chinese Restaurant in Old Hickory is back open after employees of the restaurant were caught on camera cleaning kitchen supplies in Old Hickory Lake.
After the discovery, the Metro Health Department closed the restaurant for a few hours Tuesday.
Why employees of the chinese restaurant were washing supplies in the lake has left health inspectors baffled.
“I’m not quite sure why with the facilities that this firm has, I don’t know why they wouldn’t do what they were doing right there in their own facility. It puzzles me,” Inspector Danny Ripley told WKRN.
Employees first denied the allegations, according to the Metro Health Department.
WKRN obtained a copy of the inspector’s report where you can see a woman fesses up, saying she took a drain from the cookline.
The man that captured the video says a number of other items were also rinsed in the lake.
The Health Department says their actions are a major health concern.
“There is a lot of water-born illnesses out there that could become food-born and obviously if we are dealing with rivers or lakes or streams there is going to be more opportunity with just environmental contaminates, bacterial contaminates and parasitic contaminates as well,” Ripley explained.
The health department shut the restaurant stating a potential imminent health hazard and to allow them time to properly clean the items; wash, rinse, sanitize and air dry.
“We watched them clean through several pieces of equipment.”
Ripley tells News 2 that no food was thrown out, but that some equipment in storage was cleaned in case of cross-contamination.
“We are confident that they understand that now, there was a degree of language barrier there so sometimes it’s challenging to make sure the messages conveyed, but we are confident that they understand they can not use unapproved water sources for any level of cleaning or any level of food service activities whatsoever.”
The health department plans to follow up, as well as continue with routine inspections.
They tell us they really can’t test for something like washing dishes in lake water and they rely on employees to be honest.
It’s important to note the owners of this restaurant are not affiliated with any other No 1 Chinese Restaurants.