Restaurant passes health inspection despite animal carcasses - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Restaurant passes health inspection despite animal carcasses

(WMC TV) - A Chinese restaurant will remain open and even passed its health inspection, despite four critical health code violations and animal carcasses hanging behind the establishment.

The Shelby County health department issued Rice Bowl Chinese Restaurant, 2705 Getwell Rd., a passing score of 70 -- one point shy of failure -- two days after a complaint by The Action News 5 Investigators initiated an inspection of the property Monday.

We requested the inspection after a viewer's tip led us to find a score of animal carcasses hanging like laundry behind the restaurant (for our original story, please click here).

Wednesday, Elizabeth Hart, the health department's public information officer, released the restaurant's inspection report. It cited Rice Bowl with four critical health code violations:

"dead carcasses at rear of restaurant"

"pots & pans...reused, not sanitized"

"mop sink stopped up with waste water"

"employee washing hands (in dishwashing sink)"

But those critical violations, in addition to nine non-critical violations, amounted to a 30-point deduction: a 70.

Not enough points to issue the restaurant a failing score.

"(The carcasses violation) is part of a follow-up inspection that will come in the next ten days," said Hart.

The Rice Bowl's owner, identified in the report as Mi Land Lam, told The Action News 5 Investigators Monday the carcasses were duck. She said she was drying them for her own consumption.

"Oh, no! For me! No customers of mine. Only for me!" she exclaimed.

According to the inspection report, "All food items, especially meat, were found to be from approved sources," although the report does not identify those sources.

By Hart's own admission, the environmentalist who conducted the inspection did not confiscate any of the carcasses in an effort to identify them.

She said Rice Bowl has been in operation for more than 20 years. In the four years Andy Wise has produced Action News 5's Restaurant Scorecard, Rice Bowl has neither failed nor ever appeared among the low-scoring restaurants.

Citizens of Memphis or Shelby County who suspect health code violations at any restaurant may report it to the health department at 901-222-9203 or on Twitter at @ShelbyTNHealth.

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You can see more photos of the animal carcasses found haning in The Rice Bowl Chinese's backyard in this photo gallery. Warning: You may find some of these photos disturbing. More>>

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