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.
36 thoughts on “Chinese Cook Videotaped Pounding Meat On San Fran Sidewalk . . . Restaurant Allowed To Stay Open and Given One Month To Take A Course”
Plus this shows a shocking ignorance on basic food safety.
Why not just slam it into the bathroom floor? That might be cleaner. I’ll bet the rats come out every night and lick that spot on the pavement.
I don’t think he was trying to defrost the meat, but separate the pieces. It looks like bulk poultry. I have not heard of smashing on a dirty floor increasing temperature.
Eric – for things like breaking up huge frozen meat bulks you need space. Considering they probably washed the food and then it was cooked at a temperature that killed all the germs, this is not as bad as it looks. It is not as if it went straight to the table from the alley.
On another note…..what the heck is that stuff he is slamming into the sidewalk?
Ouch! That pun hurt! 🙂
He’s making a new delicacy,
boeuf du trottoir
This a great example of why, someone who lived in Asia for nearly 3 years, refuses to eat Asian food in any but only two restaurants in the metropolitan area here. In both cases I’ve been in the kitchens and know the owners well, for years in fact.
Another matter is that most Chinese restaurants serve “Americanized” dishes, not truly authentic Asian dishes….some of which might be unpalatable to the average Yankee. Both of my chosen places have three menus, one for Americans and the general public, and two others for actual Chinese or Korean diners. One of them even named his place “The Eurasian Cafe” to reflect the combination of foods available. The other is the “New Peking” restaurant, where most lunches and evenings you will see as many Chinese of Korean diners as white bread Yankees like me.
The solution is the free market. Now that people know about this place they are free NOT to eat there. We should also have free market health inspection services. I am sure they would work MUCH better than anything the government could do.
Sidewalk grime in San Francisco does impart a very unique flavor to Bay Area Chinese food, much more so than grime from New York City or Chicago. It must be something about the fog and salt air.
OMG, but this is like manna from Heaven to a person who writes Irish Poems!
Men At Wok???
An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm
Oh My!, but the Heathen Chinese,
Have a whole brand new way to unfreeze!
Right out there, on the street!
They are whacking their meat!
Sooo, stay away from the Crab Rangoon, please!
Reminds me of a deli at which I worked while going for a graduate degree. Hamburgers which landed on the grease-and-dirt-encrusted floor were scooped up and plopped back on the grill. Mayonnaise exposed to the air which had developed a viscous gelatinous covering was simply remixed. The reservoir for milk was never washed with soap because, as the owner said when I started to wash it, “It might give the customers diarrhea.” Needless to say I never ate there and left as soon as I could find another second part-time job. And these were minor compared to the stories I’ve heard.
You should’ve said it was a restaurant.
No inspection needed!
I’m amused that anyone thinks attendance at some food handling classes will fix the problem.
As if the problem is that they don’t know that’s not the correct way to prepare food.
And, yeah: I had wiring run out to my chickenhouse and they came out and inspected the ditch to make sure it was 18″ deep.
Ugh…another reason to be vegan.
Egregious behavior like this is not just negligent but depraved.
It should provoke one month suspension and repeated inspections, if not the ‘death penalty’ (i.e. closure).
Hell, I just had a small 8×10′ deck built, and the city came out and inspected the holes we dug before we could set the posts in concrete.
One more reason to forego San Franscisco.
Don’t encourage them.
What in hell do they spend all that tax money on, anyway?
Pogo – it is SF, what do you expect. If the owner had been white, they would have shut them down.
Nobody actually knows what happens to their food before they receive it in any restaurant. Restaurant workers may not have the benefit of paid sick leave, and may resent having to do menial work for the leisure class to enjoy. People are overly trusting.
doglover – don’t be a cheap tipper and you will be treated well.
If you have ever worked in the food industry you know that things happen to food that the customer might not find appropriate. Some kitchens are more open than others, but at their own risk.
If you look at the video, you can see a green colored dumpster just inside the enclosed area, a few feet from where the meat is.
No, SafeLibraries, I believe the basic courses leave “how to beat your meat” as an exercise for the graduate student.
I suspect the YouTube video will do more than the health department fine or “F” rating to dissuade potential diners.
No diners – no dollars – self correcting problem.
They may have a lot more free time to take those classes.
I can’t imagine that the sinks they wash(?) the vegetables in would be a model of sanitation either, so I am not sure any sort of dish there would be free of a rather diverse microbiologic flora and fauna… Or the odd cigarette butt.
“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.”
Those courses do not include instruction not to pound meat on sidewalks. Therefore, pounding the meat on sidewalks will continue.
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