Ichiban's food permit in danger after 22 critical violations

The Tippecanoe County Health Department will have a public hearing on June 20 regarding Ichiban's food permit.

Posted: Jun 12, 2018 11:00 AM
Updated: Jun 12, 2018 6:32 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Ichiban Sichuan restaurant in Lafayette is in danger of closing after 22 critical health violations in 2018.

This public website shows Ichiban's health violations and how they have progressed throughout the years. 

Tippecanoe County Health Inspector Craig Rich said the department has attempted several times to work with the restaurant to fix the issues but the violations continue. 

Rich said typically, once violations reach a $200 fine, an informal meeting takes place. 

He said the department had an informal meeting with Ichiban in January.

Rich said it's a long process to get to the point of a formal meeting. 

We will learn more about the critical violations at the hearing on June 20. That's when the health officer will decide whether to revoke Ichiban's food permit. 

Ichiban is Dan's lunch spot every other week. He didn't want to share his last name with News 18 for the interview but we told him about the 22 critical health violations at one of his favorite restaurants. 

"I've never had a problem with the food here," reponded Dan. "And it [the violations] probably won't change my behavior any."

That's not because Dan isn't picky. He said he puts thought into where he buys food.

"When I pick an Asian place, I always try to pick an Asian restaurant where a lot of Asians eat," said Dan. 

Dan said that's usually an indicator the food will taste better. Ichiban prides itself on traditional chinese cuisine but tradition is also part of the problem.

"It's like something cultural, they think it's fine in China but it does not work here," said Ichiban's manager Echo Yim. "We have our own rules in the U.S. so, yeah, I want to apologize."

Some of the 22 critical health code violations include improper hand washing practices, dangerous food storing temperatures and cross-contamination hazards. All concerns Ichiban manager Echo Yim said don't exist in China.

"I've been trying to translate all the things into Chinese so they can have a list of the rules and they can actually reference to it cause if it's just by words they do forget some of the time," said Yim. 

The restaurant is confident employees will be able to fix the problems.

"People do make mistakes sometimes but we are trying to make improvements and we really want to change Ichiban to a better for the customer also for ourselves, too," said Yim. 

Dan doesn't think the restaurant needs to change too much. He wants the health department to keep Ichiban open.

"I hope that they let the consumer decide," said Dan.

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