RED ALERT: State confirms insects at Great Wall Take Out after customer's report

11:22 PM, Jun 12, 2013   |    comments
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Dawna Dael found this bug in her meal from Great Wall Chinese Take-Out on 62nd Avenue in St. Petersburg.


St. Petersburg, Florida- Dawna Dael loved ordering meals from Great Wall Chinese Take-Out on 62nd Avenue North in St. Pete.

"It's just up the street, so once a month or so, we'd order and my husband would go pick it up," said Dael.

But last month Dawna says she found something totally unexpected hidden in her chicken lo mein.

"I just put it out on a plate and started to eat and I noticed this dark spot," recalled a horrified Dael. "I thought it was a piece of green onion or something and I moved it over with my fork and when I did I noticed there were legs on it."

Photos: Bug found in chicken lo mein from Great Wall Take Out

Dawna filed a complaint with the state, alleging May 19th she found a "half-inch long cockroach" mixed in with her meal.

"My stomach went into a knot because I thought I might have eaten some other ones, before I found this one," said Dael holding up a zip lock baggie with the roach in question.

The complaint resulted in a state inspection with the Division of Restaurants issuing an immediate emergency closure after discovering 16 violations, four considered high priority on the restaurant's May 30th inspection.

See also: This week's "Perfect 10" restaurants

Among the issues were a food temperature violation on cabbage found sitting out on the cooks line, hand washing sinks not available for employee use, and a lot of roaches, both dead and alive, found throughout the kitchen, inside the home-style cooler across from the fryer, inside the door frame of the of the storage room, and even two crawling around behind the knife rack. 

But that's not all. 

There was also rodent activity with the inspector documenting "too many droppings to count" in the storage room.

"I thought it was bad enough with the bugs, but if there are rodents as well," said Dael. "Just the un-cleanliness of it- it just gives you the creeps."

So last week we decided to check out Great Wall Chinese Take Out for ourselves.

A woman behind the counter told us there was no manager on duty at the time, and after making a few phone calls, came back to tell us all issues were corrected.

"Everything is okay! Yeah no problem," she said.

But when we asked for permission to take a look in the kitchen, we were repeatedly told, "no way!"

"That doesn't sound good," said former customer Robert Reeder. "There still might be problems if they're not letting you back in."

In fact, we found more dead insects in plain sight in the middle of the dining room.

"I'll probably never be back," said Reeder. "I won't be back just thinking about that!"

Dawna Dael agrees. 

"We have to look for a new Chinese place close by and I'm really going to be careful and check all my food because if one is like that, you never know if another one is going to have a problem," said Dael.

And when it comes to Great Wall Chinese Take Out, Dael offered this advice: "Don't go! I'll never go back there again."

See Great Wall's full inspection history here.

Follow 10 News Reporter Beau Zimmer on twitter @Zimm10

Beau Zimmer, 10 News

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