Hot-Pot Not So Hot

Liukoushui Hot-Pot finally gets DOH inspection: How did they do?

Updated 31 weeks ago David Stone
Liukoushui gets praise from satisfied customers but food safety concerns persist.
Liukoushui gets praise from satisfied customers but food safety concerns persist.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

On July 11th, the Department of Health finally got around to inspecting Liukoushui, the Chinese Hot-Pot restaurant at 568 Main Street on Roosevelt Island. Results are now posted on DOH's website, and they're not good.

Enthusiasm for the community's newest eating place was dampened when a passerby caught a food handler chopping meat outdoors in the rain in an area where trash is normally discarded.

Water dripped off Roosevelt Landing's facade, and a huge exhaust hood blasted air directly overhead. The food handler, who didn't appear to wear gloves, stood next to a wheeled mop bucket in which a wringer and mop were parked.

RIOC, NYPD and DOH shocked residents by taking heads in the sand approaches to a clear violation of food safety laws posted for all to see on Facebook.

Liukoushui, which is known as Chongqing Hot Pot to DOH, took it more seriously. A week later, on June 27th, a spokesperson for the restaurant promised it "will never happen again." And, as far as we know, it never has.

But concerns don't stop there, especially after DOH's inspection, their first at Liukoushui, found three critical food safety violations.

Chief among them for one local observer: "No one yet has the Food Handler's Certificate."

The other violations cited cold food held at temperatures that were too high and "Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred."

The net result of what DOH calls a "pre-permit inspection" is a score of 22. That translates to a B Grade under established conditions. 

In contrast, China One earned a stellar 5 in its most recent inspection. Nisi got a 12, and the café at Cornell Tech earned a 10. Each are graded "A" by DOH. 

Before closing last year, Bubble Cool scored a whopping 39.

Not inspected so far is Jupioca. All other currently operating Roosevelt Island eateries get the top grade.

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