Few Langley eateries forced to close

Judging by Fraser Health’s records, it’s safer to eat in Langley than in most other nearby communities.

In 2014, three restaurant closures in Langley City and Township were ordered by Fraser Health, which inspects restaurants for hygiene. However, only one of those closures appears to have been directly related to hygiene.

One closure, of the Ashoka Indian Restaurant in Langley City, was due to smoke damage after an arson fire at the back of the building, and was not related to any issues with the restaurant itself.

Another listed closure was that of the Town Hall Public House on 64th Avenue, a one-day shutdown on Dec. 3.

“We just had a pipe burst downstairs,” said James Bailey, office manager for the Joseph Richard Group of restaurants.

When the inspectors happened to arrive on the same day, “we’d already shut our doors,” Bailey said.

He said the issue required some cleanup and a pipe repair.

The Fraser Health website listed a number of reasons for closure for Town Hall Public House on its website, including “Food is not protected from contamination” and “Food is not processed in a manner that makes it safe to eat.”

The Temple Restaurant in Aldergrove was closed Dec. 17 and re-opened on Dec. 22.

The Fraser Health report on Temple listed “Food is not protected from contamination” and “Premises is not free of pests” as reasons for the closure.

The manager of Temple, Wing, said there were no pest issues, and that Fraser Health had requested some clean-up and painting be done.

“Just a couple days, that’s it,” he said of the closure.

In general, Langley restaurants have fared well in the last few years during health inspections. There were no closures in 2013 and one in 2014, according to Inderjeet Gill, Surrey area manager of health protection.

Overall there were 84 restaurant closures in 2013, and 105 in 2014 in the Fraser Health region, which stretches from Burnaby east into the Fraser Valley.

“I’ve seen these numbers go up and down every year,” Gill said.

An inspector can order a restaurant closed either if there is a history of non-compliance with health and safety issues, or if there is a concern that something could cause an outbreak of food-borne illness, Gill said.

Compliance with health codes is, in general, very good, Gill said.

Out of 3,000 inspections last year, about 1.2 per cent resulted in closures.

Langley seems to be doing better than neighbouring Surrey, which had 36 closures in the past year. While several there were closed due to fires, equipment failures, or flooding, there were also 14 cited with pest problems and one cited for “failure to ensure the food was obtained from approved sources.”

– With files from the Surrey Now.

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