Monday afternoon, the Minneapolis City Council's Regulatory, Energy, and the Environment Committee voted to revoke the license of a takeout restaurant at 50th and France for an extensive list of unpaid fines stemming from health code violations over the last four years.
According to city inspectors, New China Wok owed the city over $17,000. In an interview with Patch, a city spokesperson said some of the fines dated back to 2008.
In 2009, city inspectors and New China Wok's owner Xiu Ben Lan agreed on a deal to bring the restaurant back into compliance with city regulations after it racked up nearly $9,000 in fines for health code violations. The agreement's findings of fact start off noting that after "several violations were noted in recent inspections," city inspectors fined Lan $200 for not controlling "pests." One year and one cracked, unrepaired ice machine door later, another inspection ordered Lan to give New China Wok a "deep cleaning" and Lan was hit with a $1,600 fine for continuing to let pests run rampant. Four days later, city inspectors conducted another inspection, which noted that the business was still open despite not having addressed "numerous violations" that Lan had already been ordered to correct.
According to the Star-Tribune, new details emerged at Monday's city council hearing about more recent violations. An Aug. 2011 inspection, the paper reported, turned up "slimy mildew" on the ice-making machine, storing food like raw meat at room temperature, storing bulk dry food and take-out containers amid mouse feces, more mouse feces on a table that held hot food, and no sanitizing solution in use.
The Star-Tribune reported that Lan blamed his staff for not following health codes, but the city countered that Lan was responsible for ensuring a clean and safe restaurant.