FARGO — Public health officials discovered caged pigeons in the basement of a Chinese restaurant in downtown Fargo, prompting the downtown eatery to publicly apologize.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, King House Buffet sought to explain why the pigeons were in the basement of the restaurant.
"We want to apologize to our customers," the post stated. "We should not let our employees leave the pigeons in our restaurant's basement when farmers brought those here, and we won't do it again in the future. We also want to mention to public that, we don't have live chicken in our basement, and never serve pigeon meat for our customer."
Fargo Cass Public Health inspectors visited King House on May 8. A report from the agency listed a total of eight violations, including the discovery of pigeons in the basement. Corrective actions were ordered, and a follow-up visit on May 9 found that the pigeons had been removed and other violations had been addressed.
Inspectors noted during the initial visit that other corrective actions at King House involved cleaning food contact surfaces, ensuring that handwashing sinks are not used for any other purpose than washing hands, placing eggs in refrigeration immediately and properly storing utensils.
A public health spokesperson said that new owners took over King House in 2018. Since then, there have been two routine inspections.
On April 13, 2018, an inspector noted that utensils cannot be stored in the employee handwashing sink, and floors and walls required "more frequent cleaning."
On March 21, 2019, an inspector's corrective actions included cleaning the ice machine, labeling the handwash-only sink and ensuring utensil handles are stored correctly and that employees reach for utensils at the base rather than the food-contact surface.