Dragon Kitchen to reopen after health code violations

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FULTON - Carolyn Westerman went to Dragon Kitchen Wednesday afternoon for her weekly lunch with her husband and was surprised to find the restaurant was closed for health code violations.

"I was shocked because we always have good food here," Westerman said. "It's always fresh and warm and the service has always been good, so I was shocked."

Westerman said she eats at the restaurant at least once a week and has never gotten sick from the food.

Fulton City Administrator Bill Johnson, however, said conditions of the restaurant could be dangerous for customers.

The inspection report from October 15 outlines numerous health code violations including:

  • Mold on a preparation cooler and in an ice machine
  • Undated and uncovered food
  • Chemicals not stored properly, next to food products
  • Dirt accumulation where food is prepared
  • Seafood left out overnight, unrefrigerated
  • Blood-like substance in tote under a table

The Callaway County Health Department said all of these violations could lead to foodborne illness.

Food poisoning sends 53,245 Americans to the hospital annually, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service.

The report estimates the cost of foodborne illnesses in the US is more than $15.6 billion a year. The cost estimate takes into account medical costs and lost income for people who suffer from a foodborne illness.

Andy Ning, the owner of Dragon Kitchen, said he plans to reopen the restaurant on Friday, so long as his cleanup efforts stay on track.