Dirty Dining: Target 8 tests find potentially ‘hazardous’ buffet

Target 8 investigates Kent County restaurant violations

Target 8 tests a frog leg at Oriental Asian Buffet in Wyoming. (May 15, 2017)


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The buffet at Oriental Asian Buffet is a big draw, with steam tables offering up everything from frog legs to salmon to crab rangoons.

But Oriental Asian Buffet, also known as Asian Garden, at 5316 Clyde Park Ave. SW, also leads Kent County restaurants in health-threatening violations of the county health code over the last three years, according to a Target 8 analysis.

Some of those violations included food that was kept at potentially dangerous temperatures on the buffet. That led Target 8 to test the buffet.

Target 8 used a digital thermometer after a lesson from William DeHaan, who is a former supervisor at the Kent County Health Department.

>>SEARCH: Kent County restaurant violation reports

Restaurants must keep hot food at least 135 degrees, something DeHaan stresses to his class at Grand Rapids Community College.

“The temperature danger zone is what we have to watch out for and we know that 41 to 135 (degrees) is our danger zone. Bacteria grows the best between 70 up to 125,” DeHaan said.

Target 8’s tests found frog legs at 92.4 degrees and an unlabeled meat on a stick item at 92.6 — both more than 40 degrees too cold.

The pork dumping was safe, at more than 136 degrees.

But the garlic shrimp came in at 114.2 degrees, and chicken registered at 119.9 — neither warm enough.

“That is very hazardous,” DeHaan said of Target 8’s findings.

Before Target 8 could test more, a man who identified himself as the restaurant manager stepped in.

“You cannot do that,” he yelled. “You’re not an inspector.”

“You’re not a professional,” he said. “You don’t have the power to do that.”


TOP 10 RESTAURANTS WITH THE MOST VIOLATIONS IN KENT CO. (2014-2016)


The next business day, based on Target 8’s findings, county health inspectors showed up and conducted their own tests. They cited Oriental Asian Buffet for not keeping “potentially hazardous food” warm enough.

The restaurant immediately threw that food away, according to the report.

Kent County Health Department officials said Oriental Asian Buffet is on the same enforcement track that led to the highly publicized closing of XO Asian Cuisine in 2016.

“There’s a set of rules that we’re playing by and we do the best we can with what we have,” said Max Bjorkman, supervisor of inspectors at the health department.

He said he would have no problem eating at Oriental Asian Asian Garden.

“I’d eat at any of our licensed facilities,” he said.

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