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Health Department Lifts Six-Month Restaurant Closure Order

May 23, 2017

Tacoma’s Vien Dong Restaurant to reopen early under conditions

Restaurant’s owner appealed six-month closure for repeated food safety violations. He agreed to strict improvement plan for better food safety.

TACOMA, Wash. –Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has lifted Vien Dong Restaurant’s, 3801 S. Yakima Ave. in Tacoma’s Lincoln District, six-month closure order for repeated food safety violations. The restaurant can reopen for business May 26.

At a May 17 administrative hearing, Vien Dong’s owner appealed the six-month closure, which took effect May 3. The Health Department’s Food Safety Code allows an option for appeals. At the hearing, the Department heard testimony from the owner, customers, and other Lincoln District business owners.

The owner acknowledged he understood the seriousness of the safety violations food inspectors observed over the past four years and committed to make immediate changes to meet safety standards. The owner must meet these terms before the reopening:

  • Complete and pass a pre-opening inspection.
  • Hire additional staff in sufficient number to wait and bus tables.
  • Obtain a Washington State Food Worker Card for all new hires.
  • Identify and assign a kitchen manager to maintain ongoing active control of food safety.
  • Repair or replace refrigeration in the kitchen.
  • Complete and maintain daily temperature logs for each refrigerator.

“We used this community feedback to re-examine our Food and Community Safety program’s closure procedure,” said Frank DiBiase, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department Environmental Health division director. “Restaurants play a vital role in the health of our community. We want people to be safe when they go out to eat, and we want to help food establishments be successful,” DiBiase said.

The Health Department plans to include additional closure steps between seven days and six months. The Department is working with the Food Advisory Board to determine those intermediate steps.

Once Vien Dong reopens, the restaurant will remain on probation until they pass a series of inspections. The restaurant is subject to extended closures if it has specific food code violations.

About Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s mission is to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. As part of our mission, the Health Department tackles known and emerging health risks through policy, programs and treatment in order to protect public health. We are one of only 163 accredited health departments in the country and among six in the state to have met or exceeded the Public Health Accreditation Board’s quality standards. Learn more at www.tpchd.org.

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