Published June 18, 2014
(I sincerely appreciate the quick response from Ashley McDonald
Ohio Department of Agriculture)
Below is a brief synopsis:
On May 28, Pennsylvania State Police pulled over a vehicle owned by New Sheng Hung Co. out of Cleveland. Police called the Pennsylvania Department of Ag (PDA) to investigate when they found the truck was carrying meat, fish, vegetables and some non-perishable items, but had a refrigeration unit that was not working. When PDA arrived, they determined the food was not at a proper internal temperature and the products were destroyed. The vehicle had not yet delivered to any PA restaurants, but had already provided goods to 7 restaurants in the Youngstown area. PDA notified the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) on 5/29 and ODA in turn reached out to the Mahoning Local Health, so they could notify those restaurants who had received deliveries. ODA then went out to the New Sheng Hung facility on 5/30 to inspect their facility and other vehicles. It was determined during that inspection that the facility had 7 vehicles that were not being cleaned properly and that did not have working fridge units. Those 7 trucks were ordered to deliver no food until they were cleaned and had working refrigeration.
Currently, New Sheng has 1 vehicle that has been repaired and is making deliveries of refrigerated food. They also rented three other vehicles with proper coolers that have been approved by ODA. Their other 6 vehicles have been cleaned and were cleared on Monday to transport items that do not require temp control. They are still under order not to move refrigerated product with those 6 vehicles until the cooling units are fixed.
There were no issues with the facility itself when ODA inspectors visited on 5/30, but we have had issues with this company previously over the operation of their facility (mostly sanitation). The department has worked with them over the last several years to come into compliance, but our concerns were not being addressed quickly enough and we began active litigation with the company in February 2014. An injunction was approved by the Cleveland courts this week, meaning that if there is another incident with the facility, we can take New Sheng directly to court without waiting the required 10 days to allow them to come into compliance.
Although, the 'bad guys' are New Sheng Hung Co, AND the failure of ODA to pursue issues at New Sheng Hung (since June 2013, inspectors were back, eight times to New Sheng Hung , mostly for repeat issues) it's our local restaurateurs who are paying the price.