Lacey’s main Chinese buffet closed after inspection failed


Thurston County Public Health and Human Services attached the notice to the door of the main Chinese buffet in Lacey on December 15 after the restaurant showed no improvement from a previous inspection.


Lacey’s main Chinese buffet was due to be reinspected on Wednesday (December 22) after it was shut down by Thurston County health officials a week ago, according to a county notice affixed to the company’s door.

The shutdown was confirmed by a county employee on Tuesday. The main Chinese buffet is at 5580 Martin Way E.

The business was inspected in November and again on December 15, but after the restaurant showed no improvement on the second inspection – and racked up around 100 red points for violations – the decision was made to shut it down, said Art Starry, environmental health division. Thurston County Director of Public Health and Social Services.

During last week’s inspection, the restaurant received red dots for improper heating and cooling of food and for storing food at room temperature, Starry said.

Foods that are not properly cooled or heated can lead to foodborne illness, he said.

County officials are also concerned that because the company has not shown recent improvement in its health inspection scores, it may reflect a lack of managerial control, Starry said.

A manager who has not been properly trained in food safety can mean employees are not properly trained as well, he said.

Starry acknowledged that this is a large restaurant with an intricate menu, which might be difficult for an untrained manager.

The Olympian visited the restaurant on Tuesday. Even though the business was closed, the doors were open. Inside, everything appeared to be on deck as employees prepared for Wednesday’s re-inspection.

The Olympian also encountered a language barrier. A woman said the company had a plumbing problem. Another woman, Diana Dong, who identified herself as an acquaintance of the owners, confirmed Wednesday’s re-inspection. She declined to answer further questions.

Starry said he was not aware of a plumbing problem at the business.

He added that county health officials will meet with the owners on Wednesday to see how the restaurant is operating before it is allowed to reopen. If the business is functioning properly, it could be allowed to reopen on Wednesday afternoon, he said.

This story was originally published December 22, 2021 at 5.45 am.

Rolf has been with The Olympian since August 2005. He covers breaking news, Lacey’s town and business for the newspaper. Rolf graduated from Evergreen State College in 1990.

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