Dirty Dining: No. 1 violator hidden behind alias


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The sign on the restaurant reads Oriental Asian Buffet.

That’s also the name listed on the menu.

That’s how customers know the restaurant on Clyde Park Avenue SW in Wyoming.

But go to the Access Kent website, then to the health department’s list of restaurant violations — the site that lets you track food safety on your computer.

Under Oriental Asian Buffet is a history of critical violations, but a history that ends in 2012.

There is nothing for the last five years.

Records show it was “in compliance” — a perfectly safe place to eat.

>>SEARCH: Kent County restaurant violation reports

“It looks to me that if someone wanted to search for Oriental Asian Buffet, it would come up like no violations,” said Niki Konetzka, who said her son got violently ill after eating there in 2016.

That’s because the Kent County Health Department lists it as “Asian Garden,” even though that name doesn’t show up anywhere in or on the building.

Under that name, there are plenty of violations.

A Target 8 analysis of Kent County Health Department records shows Asian Garden had 39 critical violations in the last three years, more than any restaurant in the county. It was fined a total of $600.

The name confusion was news to the Kent County Health Department.

“No, I wasn’t aware of that, but we have 2,300 restaurants and I don’t keep track of all of them,” said Kent County Health Department Supervisor Max Bjorkman, who oversees the county’s 10 inspectors.

The mistake also appeared to lead to confusion in November, when another customer complained to the health department about an all-night bout of diarrhea and lower intestinal pain.

The complaint identified the culprit as Oriental Asian Buffet.

“It appears from the online info that they were last inspected in 2012, with a number of violations reported,” the customer wrote. “Please check them out as I don’t want others to get sick.”

The complaint led to a full inspection that uncovered “significant food safety risks,” a county inspector wrote. It also led to a conference between the county and the restaurant.

But the county continued to identify it as Asian Garden.

State business records don’t help clear up the confusion. They show Asian Garden Inc. incorporated in 2011.

They also show Oriental Asian Buffet incorporated in June 2016.

Both show the same address on Clyde Park, but different resident agents, though they have the same last name. Both companies are listed as active.

The county health department promised an investigation.

“Yeah, that’s definitely something we can look into,” the inspector supervisor said.


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