Customers’ complaints of “full-size” roaches at a Chinese buffet drew a visit by an environmentalist with the Mississippi State Department of Health.
The agency inspection reports show one customer, who filed a complaint about Panda Palace on July 21, said three roaches were walking on the wall and the server was “killing full-size roaches off the wall 10 feet from the table.”
A different customer filed a similar complaint on July 20, saying the restaurant has “a major roach infestation.” The customer said his or her daughter found a roach in her flounder, and also said hot foot was not hot, and cold food was not cold.
The buffet at 15200 Crossroads Parkway received a C rating for a critical violation after an inspection on July 26, online health department records show. The critical violation is what the health department calls having insects, rodents or animals present.
Panda Palace is the only South Mississippi food service provider to receive a critical violation from July 20-27.
The inspector on July 26 reported seeing two live roaches at Panda Palace and several dead ones near the sushi area, but none in the seating area.
The facility has a pest control contract with monthly visits, but buffet management must ask the company to keep treating for roaches until the problem is solved, the investigation report says.
The buffet also had three other violations that were corrected during the inspection: not keeping food separated and protected; improper cold holding temperatures; and non-conformance with approved procedures for having toxic substances properly identified, stored or used.
Raw meats were not being placed in proper storage order, the report said, and not enough chlorine was being used for sanitizing food contact surfaces.
The inspector also recommended the staff “keep oyster tags in better order and store in dated envelops or bags as to the day they are sold.”
A follow-up inspection will be held within 10 days, around Aug. 5.
In previous inspections, records show, Panda Palace received a B rating during two inspections in 2017.
The buffet received an A score on Feb. 22, 2017. And a B score on inspections in February and on Aug. 7, 2017.
What the scores mean
Health department workers use a scoring system that gives an A score to food service providers in compliance with state regulations. They give a B to providers if any critical violations found are corrected during an inspection.
A score of C is given for critical violations that are not corrected during an inspection. Restaurants that receive a C must correct critical violations within 10 days. If the violations are not corrected in a re-inspection, the health department can suspend the venue’s operating permit.
Food service providers are required to post their latest permits where customers can see them. Not posting the latest permit is a violation.
Health department workers inspected 474 food venues statewide from July 20-27. Of that, 110 were in the state’s six southernmost counties — Harrison, Jackson, Hancock, Pearl River, Stone and George counties.
To file a complaint with the MDH about food service at a specific place, visit your county health department or email firstname.lastname@example.org with details.