A Chinese restaurant in Tennessee was temporarily shut down by the health department, when employees were caught washing kitchen supplies in a lake.
On Tuesday, employees at No. 1 Chinese Restaurant in Old Hickory, Tenn. were filmed with buckets and rags, washing cookware, pots, and a grill top in Old Hickory Lake. After the videos were shared on Facebook by user Lance E Glover, the Metro Health Department launched an investigation.
According to CBS 42, on the same day the video was captured, a health inspector visited the restaurant and confronted the employees. They initially denied the allegation, but once shown the footage, they admitted to washing their kitchen supplies in the lake.
"Their explanation was it was a drain that collected a lot of grease, and they wanted to wash it somewhere where that grease wasn’t going down their drain," Hugh Atkins, director of bureau of environmental health services at the Metro Health Department, told WTVF. "It's disturbing to see something like that."
According to WTFV, the restaurant, which previously earned a positive score of 98 during a July inspection, was promptly shut down by the health department, and a sign was placed on the door: "Sorry for the abrupt notice, but we are closed until 6:30 pm tonight. Thank you for understanding!"
In order to reopen, the health department ordered the restaurant to wash and disinfect all food prep surfaces and equipment. Shortly after 6:30 p.m., the restaurant was cleared to open its doors.
"If customers see that restaurant open, that means we’ve addressed this issue to our satisfaction," Atkins reportedly said.
"I’ve never gotten sick from the food here," customer Heather Williams told WTVF. "It's clean. I've never had any problems."
However, one anonymous resident claimed to have seen restaurant employees utilize the lake as a giant sink to wash dishes multiple times in the past year. He also provided WTVF with video proof, the outlet said.
The Metro Health Department and Glover did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.
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