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Food safety expert explains SNHD role in inspections after Secret of Siam investigation begins

Secret of Siam investigation
Posted at 8:32 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 02:10:11-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Southern Nevada Health District performed a health inspection of Thai restaurant Secret of Siam in Centennial Hills and gave it an "A" grade days before the restaurant was shuttered as police and health inspectors considered allegations that "adulterated food" was served at the restaurant.

Hilary Vandenkooy said she was hospitalized following a visit to the store and tested positive for THC. She believed her food was tainted.

"To have this happen — to be drugged without your consent, without your knowledge, is awful and really scary," Vandenkooy said.

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Food safety trainer, consultant, and inspector Timothy Moulson has inspected and trained restaurant staff around the world, and said SNHD inspectors are some of the best in the United States.

"I did restaurants in Japan, Indonesia, New Zealand, Guam, Philippines, China, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Russia," he said.

Moulson said the allegations leveled by several people — and now investigated by police and health officials — were alarming, but people should still have confidence the health district is doing everything within its power to get restaurants up to code.

The problem, he said, is the system of largely random inspections has a hole.

"Nobody could catch it unless they actually saw it happen," he said. "Unless they actually see somebody putting something in, which is unlikely, there is no way they could catch it. Not at all, unless you actually tasted every food or sent it to a lab, there's no way you could find out."

Moulson said the active investigations should lead to answers about what happened and how.

Both Metro Police and SNHD officials said it was too early to comment. 13 Action News' calls to the restaurant's listed owner had not been returned as of this report.

READ MORE: How much THC is too much? A closer look after reports of tainted food at local restaurant