LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department inspects more than 1700 restaurants at least twice a year.
While most pass with flying colors, inspectors do run into some bizarre situations. Recently, one employee discovered a live turtle inside a kitchen sink at Happy China on Winchester Road.
Along with bunk beds where food was being stored and a faulty cooling unit, Happy China was immediately shut down.
Although she’s never had any former complaints, Happy China’s owners tell the health department the animal was a pet.
“If one of the workers were to handle the turtle, and then go directly to without washing their hands really, really good. They could potentially pass salmonella to the food,” Skip Castleman explained to LEX 18.
Any inspection score under 60 forces an immediate closure. Public health officials say that after Happy China scored that 53 on May 8, they closed immediately for two days. On May 10 they were reinspected, and they got a 94.
Some clients are unsure they will eat at the restaurant in the future following the incident.
“The food is okay and stuff but after what you told me, I don’t know if I want to go back in there and eat again for a while,” customer Sarita Mays tells LEX 18.