LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It's been a while since we've had a new member of the 50-plus club on Dirty Dining.
That's a restaurant that got 50 or more demerits, which is considered so excessive that it's an imminent health hazard based on demerits alone.
Gourmet China in the northwest, near Durango Drive and El Capitan Way, was shut down after getting 50 demerits on its Nov. 24 inspection.
When we went to talk to restaurant owner Lisa Li she came out to greet us and seemingly made sure we didn't get past the front door. She told us she'd prefer not to do an interview.
Inspectors say Gourmet China had dining tables in active use even though it wasn't approved for indoor seating because it didn’t have a customer restroom.
Other violations included improper handwashing, a mesh sack of onions stored on the floor and dirty wipe rags covering open containers of food.
An open container of raw chicken sat on a greasy, grimy oil waste bin.
Containers of fuel injector and WD-40 were intermingled with clean utensils above a food prep table.
The can opener and deli slicer in clean storage were excessively dirty with old food on their blades.
Plus, an employee was drinking from an open coffee cup while chopping produce and storing that cup in direct contact with the produce.
"I feel so bad because it's my first restaurant and I try my best to make it clean and make everything perfect for customers," Li said.
She has her work cut out for her with excessive dust and grime on old food on cooking equipment. And vent hoods - under the wok line and on shelves - showing conditions inspectors say would be inviting for pests, although no pests were seen.
Five large bins of cooked chicken had to be thrown out due to unsafe temperatures.
Cooked shrimp, chicken and beef on the wok line met the same fate, again due to temperature issues.
Raw chicken sat on top of open sauces on the walk-in cooler floor.
And cooked chicken, pork dumplings along with chopped produce were stored in grocery store plastic bags.
A final note on the inspection: the person in charge was not knowledgeable about foodborne illness symptoms and was unable to respond to inspectors' questions about food safety and kitchen operations.
It took Gourmet China nearly a week to erase those 50 demerits, but they did it, reopening on Nov. 30 with a zero-demerit "A" grade.
Click here to see the health report for Gourmet China 3.