100 Temple Law School Fundraiser Attendees Affected

Food poisoning is not what attendees of a recent Philadelphia fundraiser bargained for. Approximately 100 lawyers, law students, and other members of the legal community are now part of what is likely to be one of Philadelphia’s largest outbreaks of food poisoning. According to reports, about 250 members of the legal community, including some family and friends, attended a celebration of the Lunar New year at the Joy Tsin Lau restaurant on February 27th. The eight-course dinner was a fund raiser for Temple University’s law students – sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association.

Long History of Food Safety Issues at Joy Tsin Lau

This same restaurant has a history of food safety problems, and in recent inspections was found deficient in many areas. Recent inspections demonstrated a pattern of food code violations:

• February 10, 2015: 5 Foodborne Illness Risk Factors and 9 Lack of Good Retail Practices
• December 22, 2014: 7 Foodborne Illness Risk Factors and 13 Lack of Good Retail Practices
• November 14, 2013: 1 Foodborne Illness Risk Factors and 4 Lack of Good Retail Practices
• November 7, 2012: 3 Foodborne Illness Risk Factors and 4 Lack of Good Retail Practices
• June 21, 2012: 3 Foodborne Illness Risk Factors and 4 Lack of Good Retail Practices
• August 18, 2010: 7 Foodborne Illness Risk Factors and 14 Lack of Good Retail Practices

Among the most recent violations were at least 11 repeat violations for things like improper food temperatures in which food was stored at 57 degrees, well above the temperature needed to prevent the spread of bacteria; potentially hazardous ready to eat foods were stored for more than 48 hours; inoperable walk-in refrigerator; and a failure to provide adequate hand-washing facilities and supplies to its workers. On the February 10th inspection, inspector Kyria Weng stated that “that current management practices have allowed unacceptable public health or food-safety conditions.”

The popular dim sum restaurant is located at 10th and Race Streets in Philadelphia, and has had the same owner, Chi Mabel Chan, for about 30 years. Ms. Chan is allegedly denying liability at this time, and in comments she is reported to have made to some of the victims, Ms. Chan said that “it was not a problem with my restaurant,” pointing to the weather and the fact that many of the attendees also went to a karaoke bar afterwards. But according to national food poisoning lawyer Ron Simon, “the connection to the restaurant is too strong to be dismissed, and with a track record like Joy Tsin Lau’s, the conditions for a food borne illness outbreak were clearly present.” Simon notes that it is these types of outbreaks that remind us that adherence to safe food handling and preparation guidelines is essential. “The outbreak was preventable,” says Simon, “and I will be working with my clients to make sure that the restaurant is held accountable.”

If you were sickened after eating at the Joy Tsin Lau restaurant, call one of the food poisoning lawyers at Ron Simon & Associates at 1-888-335-4900.