SPOKANE, Wash. — A sushi restaurant in North Spokane reopened Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. after viral videos showed improper food handling in its kitchen.
QQ Sushi’s owner Bao Zhang voluntarily closed the restaurant one week ago following the videos. Zhang later announced that he had replaced the entire kitchen and management staff at the restaurant.
Zhang has hired two managers to oversee day-to-day operations at the restaurant, according to a press release sent on Tuesday. One of the managers has been a server at QQ Sushi for about two years and was promoted due to her experience managing another sushi restaurant.
One video posted on Facebook last Sunday showed someone preparing food in a large mixing bowl on the floor, then storing it under a shelf. The person who shot the video said it was a bowl of raw chicken and eggs, and it was not being chilled.
Another photo allegedly showed tuna that had been rinsed out and was being stored in a dish bucket. The person also posted video of fish chopped up and being stored in a sink near produce.
In a statement issued last Wednesday, Zhang said he was “deeply disturbed” by what he saw in the videos.
"That does not accurately portray me and how I run my business. I have owned QQ Sushi for more than five years. We have thousands of good reviews online averaging 4 out of 5 stars and often have a line of people out the door. Our customers are like family to me, so I hope people know I'm taking this seriously and want to get back to serving the community with delicious food as I have for the past five years,” he added.
The press release sent on Tuesday says the Spokane Regional Health District conducted an investigation and met with staff to review proper food safety and handling practices following the incident.
Zhang renovated the restaurant with new kitchen appliances, utensils and storage containers ahead of its reopening, according to the release.