March 5: Restaurant Report

Richmond, VA (NBC 12) - 25 critical violations in tonight's Restaurant Report. We begin with a Chesterfield Chinese restaurant that was actually forced to shut down on a recent afternoon due to a number of issues.

We went straight to Happy Happy Shanghai Café (11523 Midlothian Turnpike) to find out exactly what happened. Immediately, Manager Christine Zou said it boiled down to what she called a misunderstanding between them and the health department.

"It was some mistake between the communication with them and us," said Zou.

But the inspector's report speaks loud and clear. On February 5th, the restaurant across from Chesterfield Towne Center was asked to voluntarily close due to a number of repeated critical violations. They included everything from employees failing to wash their hands, to raw meats stored improperly and broccoli found in a dirty container on the floor.

When we asked, Zou didn't hesitate to take us into the kitchen.

"Everything looks nice & clean," she said.

Items in the refrigerator did appear to be in place. But, we had concerns about meats our cameras caught sitting out at room temperature, cooking areas that appeared soiled, and how about that broccoli container? It didn't look too clean to us, but Zou thought otherwise.

Zou said, "Sometimes there's a little spot on it, but we clean."

Perhaps most disturbing in the report, was a citation for an employee the inspector believed dumped partially eaten noodles back into a container for reuse. Zou vehemently denies her restaurant would re-serve food from one customer to another.

"No.  No.  Not at all. (Then why did they cite you all for that?) They's like that's not right.  You want to say what we intend to do? They don't believe you."

Two follow up inspections cleared the restaurants of violations. Zou says her customers shouldn't be concerned.

"We keep our policy and we do it good," said Zou.

Now for the rest of tonight's critical list, in Henrico, Crossroads Bar & Grill (2000 Staples Mill Road) with 10 critical violations. Among them, a dishwasher that wasn't dispensing sanitizer.

Also, River City Diner North (803 East Parham Road) with 6 critical, including glass cleaner and urinal tablets stored next to food prep items.

And finally, in Richmond, Northside Grille (1215 Bellevue Avenue) with 4 critical violations. Crab dip was found held past its "consume by" date.

And now for the good news, this week's hall of fame award goes to Maria's Café & Italian Restaurant (16 W Old Street) in Petersburg for a perfect inspection February 4th.