CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) — Most Warehouses in Ohio get a visit from inspectors from the Ohio Department of Agriculture once every 12 to 18 months, but that’s not the case with the New Sheng Hung facility in Cleveland.
“This particular facility is on an accelerated inspection schedule where at least every six months and if there is an issue, we will continue to return,” said Ashley McDonald, an inspector with the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
New Sheng Hung is where a truck with spoiled food came from last week before it was stopped in Mahoning Township in Lawrence County. The truck already had made deliveries to seven restaurants in the Youngstown area before it was pulled over on Wednesday, including:
- House of China – Boardman
- Grand Buffet – Boardman
- Sawa Steak House – Boardman
- Golden Bowl – Struthers
- Shangrila Express – Boardman
- Bamboo Garden – Austintown
- Little Hunan – Austintown
On Friday, inspectors with the Ohio Department of Agriculture were at the warehouse, where it was discovered seven other trucks did not have working refrigeration units and the company was ordered to stop making deliveries until the trucks were repaired.
But inoperable refrigeration trucks were just the latest in a series of problems at the warehouse.
Since June of last year, inspectors came back eight times, mostly for repeat issues, such as not having running water in the cabbage preparation area and unsanitary conditions. They also found dead mice in several traps, rodent feces in the dry goods area and cat feces in the building.
To see all inspections of Sheng Hung by the Ohio Department of Agriculture within the past two years, click here.
The Department of Agriculture has destroyed food at the facility, including egg roll filling and 150 pounds of duck, because it did not have a USDA mark of inspection.
McDonald said embargoing and destroying food is the extent of the agency’s power. However, because the problems keep reoccurring, the agency is currently seeking an injunction against New Sheng Hung.
“When we do cite them, they will clean up their act and then a couple months later, they will fall back and start to have problems. So this rather than having to go through the courts every single time will allow us to do what we need to do without seeking that court remedy,” McDonald said. “We can stop their production if we need to. We can level fines if we need to and we won’t have to go through the courts necessarily to do that.”
McDonald said they rarely take legal action against companies to get them to comply and points to inspection reports we obtained from 33 warehouses right here in the Valley. Only a couple on the list had repeat issues with rodents or sanitary issues. Just about all problems have been rectified.
“We have a couple of bad actors out there that we try to deal with, but I would say 99 percent of the folks out there are doing what they should be doing in regards to food safety,” McDonald said.
She said the incident last week with New Sheng Hung could have additional legal ramifications.
To see inspection reports from the Food Safety Division of the Ohio Department of Agriculture of all warehouses in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties within the past year, click on the name of the distributor below: