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Allegheny

Sun Penang restaurant in Squirrel Hill cited for rat's nest, fresh droppings

Natasha Lindstrom
| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, 2:42 p.m.
Sun Penang restaurant on Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
Sun Penang restaurant on Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

The Allegheny County Health Department has issued a consumer alert for Sun Penang restaurant in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood after investigators said they found a rat’s nest and fresh droppings on food storage shelves.

The Thai restaurant’s facility at 5829 Forbes Avenue has not been open to diners and only is being used to prepare food and make deliveries to nearby college campuses, officials said in a inspection report posted online. Public health officials asked the owner to save sales records for deliveries of boxed lunches to local universities for a possible audit.

A call to the restaurant Thursday was not returned.

During a Nov. 30 inspection, officials cited the restaurant for violations across several categories, including cooling and holding food at proper temperatures, cross contamination, ventilation, maintenance, pest management and cleaning and sanitization.

A dead juvenile rat was on the floor near the water heater.

On a storage shelf nearby, officials observed a rat’s nest, recent droppings and gnawed bags of corn starch, the report said. Weevils were found in the spilled corn starch and in rice near a basement rice cooker.

More rat droppings stained the carpeted stairway leading from the dining room to the upstairs bathroom.

Officials said they saw no evidence that a pest control company has been treating the facility.

Food contact surfaces, equipment, shelves, the interior of a walk-in cooler and the outside of a freezer were “all encrusted with debris and grime,” with “blood, grime or condensate observed inside all coolers” and mold found in the basement cooler, the report said.

The bar cooler, in an area shut down for remodeling, was shut off but never cleaned out and still contained rotten food and maggots that officials already had observed during a Nov. 15 inspection, county officials said.

In June, inspectors cited the restaurant for operating mobile units at Carnegie Mellon University without proper permits and holding food at unsafe temperatures.

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, nlindstrom@tribweb.com or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

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