The Chinese Wok in downtown Columbia has been found with six "critical" health violations, and six "non-critical" violations after a customer complained about finding a dead roach on his table and asking the health department to conduct an inspection.
A critical violation is one that can cause a food-borne illness.
The critical violations must be fixed by Monday, or the restaurant will be issued a second re-inspection and charged $100. And if the health department believes they are not working to correct it, they can shut the business down.
Their critical violations include a soiled cooker, no sanitizer in the kitchen for food or surfaces, dirty food prep tables, and expired food, including meat.
The non-critical violations included the presence of cockroaches, dirty floors, excessive clutter, and no towels at the sink.
Shaun Thornton, who was the diner who found the roach, said the waitress came out with a tray with their plates of food on it. She set the tray on the table and moved the plates off in front of Thornton and his fiancee.
When she picked up the tray again, a dead roach fell off the bottom of it and landed on the table.
Thornton said she used the plate of food to scoot the roach off of the table and onto the floor, and then pretended like she didn't see it.
He said he and his wife immediately left and called the health department.
The manager at the Chinese Wok would not give his name, but he said the building has had a roach problem since they moved into it about a year ago.
He claimed his landlord did not tell him there were roaches in the building, but he can't move his restaurant because he has two more years left in the contract.
He said he has Steve's Pest Control come every month and he is working to control the problem.
He wouldn't comment on the other violations.