State inspectors step up checks of restaurant distributor - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

State inspectors step up checks of restaurant distributor

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

The Ohio Department of Agriculture says it is stepping up scrutiny of a Cleveland food distributor following the discovery that none of their delivery trucks had functioning refrigeration systems.

The investigation began in late May when authorities in Lawrence County found tainted food being carried by a truck belonging to the New Shen Hung Company.  The food was destined for several restaurants in the Valley.

A subsequent state inspection of the Cleveland warehouse determined none of the trucks being used by the company had working refrigeration systems.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has now settled legal action filed against New Shen Hung.   However. ODA spokesperson Ashley McDonald tells 21 News that the company is still under a court injunction to follow all food safety standards.  She says if any major violations are found, the Department of Agriculture can forgo the usual ten day notice to the company, and can take the violations before a judge immediately.

McDonald says that the Department of Agriculture generally inspects food warehouses once every 12 to 18 months. But inspection of New Shen Hung will be accelerated to one inspection every six months. She says inspectors have been at the warehouse several times over the past several weeks to make sure the facility and trucks are sanitary.

As of last week, only one of the trucks owned by New Shen Hung had a working refrigeration system. The company is using three other rented refrigerated trucks. 

Six other trucks with malfunctioning refrigeration equipment can only be used to deliver non-perishable goods.

The company has 500 clients located in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

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