No. 1 Chinese Restaurant manager says video was 'cultural misunderstanding'

Posted at 7:17 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 20:25:03-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The manager of the No. 1 Chinese Restaurant talked with NewsChannel 5 after video surfaced of workers washing what appears to be kitchen tools in Old Hickory Lake.

Manager Michelle Pan apologized for the mistake and said it was a misunderstanding that won't happen again. She also clarified that what was washed in the lake was a "trash drainer."

"People assume that we were intentional trying to harm the customers. We were not it was an honest mistake," Pan said.

A video posted to Facebook was also sent to the Metro Health Department. As a result, the restaurant was shut down until they could pass an inspection. It remain closed for several hours Wednesday, but was allowed to reopen later that evening after passing a final inspection.

Manager Michelle Pan says the post isn't entirely accurate.

"It was a trash drainer - a holding rack we place on the floor," explained Pan. "No pots or pans were brought to the lake, no utensils, none of that [was] brought to the lake."

Pan says people have been attacking the restaurant over the post, saying the restaurant is unsanitary and that the people who work there are dirty.

However, recent health department scores would suggest otherwise. During an unannounced inspection on July 22, it was given an 89. It then scored a 98 during a follow-up inspection on July 26.

Pan added that it is a cultural misunderstanding.

"It's more of a cultural thing. My parents, my mom that's how they were raised...and she thought it was safe because the water seemed clean...but now we understand and [were] educated by health department and now know to never use the lake again."

The restaurant washed and disinfected all food prep surfaces and equipment before it was cleared to reopen Wednesday. As for Pan and the rest of the employees, they hope to move forward from this incident.