Area Asian restaurants report slow weekend sales

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — Several Asian restaurants in the Valley said they are victims of a Cleveland food distributor that delivered spoiled and contaminated food to them last week.

They want customers to know that they have taken every precaution to make sure their food is safe.

Sawa, House of China and the Shangrila in Boardman all said they saw fewer customers walk in the door over the past weekend. Most of the restaurants said they have dropped New Sheng Hung as a distributor and are going with someone new.

Sawa employees said they never ordered any meat from the Cleveland company, and ordered only paper and dry items as well as some vegetables, which they never thought they had to worry about since they do not require refrigeration.

“So we didn’t know that all the other food was spoiled. All the other food, we take it from the truck and it is in boxes, so it is not really temperature that we look at. It’s more of is it fresh. All the food we get is not refrigerated,” said Tyler Paigley, a server at Sawa Japanese Cuisine in the Southern Park Mall. “We get all of our meats and fish from Sherwood Food Co. or GFS, so it’s not even from the company with the spoiled truck.”

During the normally busy lunch hour on Monday, business was extremely slow.

“Usually we have at least seven or eight tables by now and as you can see, we have only one,” Paigley said.

Owners showed us their paperwork proving where they get the bulk of their food.  They also said they quickly destroyed the tainted food when they learned of it and ordered new food from another company.

The Mahoning County District Board of Health was calling restaurants in the area Monday and reminding owners to not accept refrigerated items from the New Sheng Hung company until all their refrigerated trucks are repaired. As our station reported Friday, none of the company’s trucks had operable refrigeration units.

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