Delaware Online- Meredith Newman
A Chinese restaurant near Elsmere was temporarily closed by the health department in December after an inspector found dead mice in the eatery and a gnat in its flour.
The Division of Public Health ordered China Dragon, at 1954 Maryland Ave., to close on Dec. 16 due to unsanitary conditions "that may endanger public health," according to the inspection report. The restaurant was allowed to reopen the next day.
A manager or owner could not be immediately reached for comment.
During a routine inspection, the state official saw a dead mouse and roach on a trap under the steam table, which was near the bain-marie, according to the report. There was also a dead mouse behind the water heater.
Mouse droppings were found "throughout (the) facility," the inspector wrote in the report. The state official also saw gnats inside a sink.
There were no date markings on the egg rolls in the refrigerator. A table and cutting board were both covered with food debris and grease, according to the report.
The handles of a hand sink were also covered with debris.
In order to reopen, the restaurant "must be cleaned" and the pests must be eliminated, the inspector wrote in the report.
When the state inspector returned the next day, the official found no mice or roaches and the restaurant was clean.
The state health department forced at least 71 food establishments to close in 2019, often citing gross, unsanitary conditions.
The News Journal has created an online database for readers to view those inspection reports because the state has again delayed its own. More than 120 food establishments have been ordered to close by the state's health department since 2017.
Customers who want to anonymously report unsanitary conditions at Delaware food establishments can call a hotline at (302) 744-4736. Inspectors follow up on complaints.