Health officials reopen restaurant after 4 month food safety shutdown

A Charlottetown restaurant is once again open for business, after being shut down by health officials for four months.  

After finding dozens of infractions in recent years — including 30 in the inspection in January that triggered the immediate shutdown — health officials performed an inspection of the Unique Wok on May 7 and found the restaurant had taken all required action.

"What now is going to be the challenge for these operators is maintaining these conditions that the premises are in, following our inspections," said Ryan Neale, environmental health manager at the Chief Public Health Office.

The required action at the restaurant included better shelf and storage space, better cleaning of food preparation spaces, and better training of staff, said Neale.

In January, environmental health officials took the unusual step of forcing the restaurant to shut down, after finding the 30 violations. It was the second closure of the restaurant in less than a year.

Last month the restaurant was inspected but did not pass. Now that it's met standards, it's been cleared to open. On Wednesday, staff were inside the restaurant, preparing to serve customers.

Brian Higgins/CBC

Another Charlottetown restaurant passed inspection Wednesday after it was ordered closed May 13. China Garden had 15 violations during the Monday inspection, some considered critical, said Neale. 

Health officials worked with the owners this week to bring the operation up to standard, he said. China Garden had also been ordered to shut down briefly in March for health violations. 

Owners of China Garden and Unique Wok could not be reached for comment.

Health officials will be keeping a closer eye on restaurants that have had compliance problems during recent inspections, according to Neale.

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