FDA Inspection Reveals Chinese Restaurant Supplier Was Rat-Infested Nightmare

There are fascinating horrors hiding in letters from the Food and Drug Administration to the food, drug, and cosmetic companies that it regulates. One letter that we wish we could un-read is directed to New Yung Wah Trading Company, a Brooklyn-based company that supplies Chinese restaurants all over the East Coast. The results of multiple inspections of their warehouse near Pittsburgh were frightening to potential diners…at least, those of us who prefer our food to have as little rat urine as possible.

The letter describes inspections performed in October, but wasn’t sent until December 9 and was made public this week. Here are a few items out of the letter’s catalog of horror:

  • A box of “rib meat” (animal unnamed) that was set on top of a box of melons to thaw. The box of meat contained an “apparent active rodent nest containing multiple rodents,” which sounds very cozy for the rodents but maybe not so much for people who were planning to eat the meat. Or the melons.
  • Rodent carcasses throughout the building, during the October 15th inspection and a repeat inspection on October 20th.
  • Birds flapping around the warehouse and defecating on food items, which rarely ends well. Specifically, it ends in salmonella contamination.
  • Nesting material and rodent poop in a case of pineapples.
  • More rodent “excreta” in a walk-in cooler, and rodent gnaw holes and even more leavings contaminating bags of flour and of monosodium glutamate.
  • Insufficient plumbing in different parts of the facility created pools of standing water and even “marshy soil” indoors, which creates a fine hiding place for some pests.
  • Workers were spotted smoking while preparing food products for distribution.
  • When AOL’s DailyFinance site contacted the company, they didn’t respond. The distributor’s website has also mysteriously disappeared.