MIDTOWN MEMPHIS (WMC TV) - A popular Chinese buffet faces a potential permit revocation letter for failing its health inspections three times in the last seven months.
New Dragon China, 1680 Madison Ave., failed its Feb. 22 inspection with a 68:
"mold build up inside the ice machine"
"pre-fried chicken...discard (due to) potentially hazardous food (temperature)"
"general tso's chicken...chicken meatball" at potentially hazardous food temps
The inspector used the word DIRTY to describe the ceiling tiles, freezer shelf and floors
The restaurant's third failure comes after these failed inspections in September and October, featured on the Scorecard:
"We're fixing it," said New Dragon China's Manager Ken Dong, who hung up on me after the first inspection and whose staff slammed the kitchen door on me after the second failure. "We're doing our best to get it back up. (The inspectors) just came at a bad time."
His bad time just might get worse.
Otho Sawyer, assistant manager of environmental sanitation for the Memphis-Shelby County Health Department, said the typical next step in a situation like this is to issue a letter threatening to revoke the establishment's food permit.
"I serve the letter," said Sawyer. "The establishment has ten days to make up their mind, whether they will close at the end of the ten days or appeal."
"The building is kind of old, and a lot of...not repair, but a lot of renovations (are) needed," said Dong. "So I think that's more important."
Maybe those dangerous food temperatures are more important, Mr. Dong.
The Action News 5 Investigators will continue to monitor any health department action against New Dragon China.
Also failing this week: Captain D's, 3440 Elvis Presley Blvd. in Whitehaven. It rated a 67 on inspection Feb. 24:
"mildew buildup inside ice bin"
"no paper towels...inside women's restroom"
"...degreaser stored on prep table with container of corn...keep toxic items...away from food"
Manager Diane Johnson refused to be interviewed on-camera or to allow us to conduct our own inspection.
On the phone, she said, "Improvements have been made. I'm expecting our re-inspection any day now."
So are we.
For all of the latest Memphis-Shelby County restaurant scores, click here.