"We were actually joking about the, you know, the whole Chinese restaurant. You know some rumors that you hear," said customer, Katie Hopkins. But, Hopkins and her friends never imaged what would happen after finishing their buffet lunches.
"Two of the workers came in wheeling a garbage can and they had a box sitting on top of it. And hanging out of the garbage can, they were trying to be real quick with it. So that nobody could see it. But there was like a tail, and a foot and leg. Sticking out of the garbage can and they wheeled it straight back into the kitchen," adds Hopkins. Hopkins immediately called the health department to describe what she saw.
"Many people eat there. A lot of locals eat there on lunch breaks and stuff. It was very disturbing. There was actually a blood trail that they were mopping up behind the garbage can," she said. Paul Lawson, the environmental health inspector in Whitley County says this is the craziest thing he's ever seen. After he arrived at the Chinese restaurant on south highway 25 West, he says the complaints proved to be true after finding roadkill in the restaurant's kitchen. Lawson said that the owner's son admitted to picking up a dead deer off the side of I-75 north in Williamsburg. This prompted the health department to immediately shut down the business. "They said they didn't know that they weren't allowed to. So that makes me concerned. But maybe they could have before. They didn't admit to doing it before," says Lawson. Lawson says that the restaurant can reopen if they pass a secondary health inspection, proving that they have washed, rinsed, and sanitized the restaurant after having roadkill inside. The restaurant owner told the health department that he wasn't going to serve the road kill to customers, but instead to his family. The Red Flower Chinese Restaurant will not face any fines.