A YouTube video has gone viral that shows what is reported to be a cook at the Lucky River, a Chinese restaurant in San Franscisco’s Sunnyside neighborhood, slamming slabs of frozen meat on the sidewalk before cooking it. Media later inspected the area of the sidewalk and reported that it was covered with blackened gum, cigarette butts, and foot-tracked bacteria of all gut-twisting varieties.
The video led an inspector from the San Francisco Health Department to visit Lucky River and was told that the worker was trying to defrost the meat.
The restaurant’s last inspection resulted in a score of 88, or adequate. However, it did find violations ranging from poor ventilation to improper food storage. It would be useful for customers to know that the restaurant that is serving them food has been able to only secure an “adequate” rating on cleanliness, though customers appear to have made such concerns known on Internet sites in the past.
Here is the most surprising aspect after the “visit” is that the restaurant was allowed to remain open by the San Francisco Health Department and serve customers despite admitting to its sidewalk meat preparation technique. It is hard to believe that the owners would run such a disgusting restaurant and yet be completely reformed due to this one citation. Nevertheless, the Department gave the owners one month to enroll in an eight-hour Food Manager Class, earn and print food handlers cards and go on remedial food safety courses. Not particularly arduous. In the meantime, the Lucky River is serving. It is reminiscent of another story we discussed involving a Chinese restaurant that was found to be serving road kill in its meat dishes.
I would stick with the steamed vegetable dishes.