TAMPA, Florida — Yummy House China Bistro is consistently ranked one of the Bay area’s best and most affordable Chinese restaurants. But a long list of major health code violations have some customers wondering what’s going on inside the restaurant’s East Hillsborough Avenue location in Tampa.
Ask just about any customer and you’ll hear rave reviews.
“I love the food, the taste of the food, the service,” said customer Genevieve Ponder.
And she’s not alone. Everyone we talked to had positive things to say.
“I just love it,” said customer Rachel Saxon. “I come here almost every week.”
Yummy House advertises serving up freshly made authentic Chinese in an upscale setting. But it was a state health inspector who served up this same restaurant with 55 violations on their April 11 visit.
The problems included employees failing to wash their hands, temperature violations on the duck, scallops, shrimp, and ribs found between 52 and 55 degrees.
State records also show the inspector discovered live insects including flies in the kitchen and live roaches on the prep table, by the cooling rack, and more than 20 inside the soap dispenser which was also filled with roach excrement.
“Yeah … that’s disgusting,” said customer Lenora Johnson.
So how could such a popular restaurant have so many violations? 10Investigates stopped in hoping to find out.
Inside, we were greeted by manager Amanda Dang who immediately invited us back into the kitchen.
“We welcome for you come in,” said Dang with a smile indicating the restaurant’s pest control company took immediate action.
“We want to make sure the pest control guy know everything and do everything correctly.”
After searching high and low, we were unable to find any new roaches. We did, however, find a dead roach on the floor and a moth which likely flew in from outside onto the raw chicken still bagged and left out to prepare.
At employee hand-washing sinks we also found soap and paper towels missing -- a major concern for customers.
“If they do not have that available or at the very least some sort of hand sanitizer readily available is unacceptable for me as a consumer to continue to come here,” said customer Lenora Johnson who works in health care.
We showed her the complete inspection report from a week earlier.
“These are things as a consumer reading it,” said Johnson while looking over the report. “I do not go back to places that failed food inspections.”
Restaurant managers insist their previous problems are now under control with one ultimate goal in mind.
“We really want to make all customers happy,” said Dang.
The restaurant was cleared by the state to reopen a day after the closure. 10Investigates spoke with the owner of Yummy House by phone who indicated the company had hired its own food safety specialists who will carry out routine self-inspections to ensure something like this never happens again.