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A Newark fried chicken restaurant remains closed for two weeks after the state’s public health division ordered it to cease operations due to an August kitchen fire that caused “imminent hazard to the health”.
“The status of Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken remains the same. There are no updates at this time,” wrote Timothy Turane, spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Public Health Division. Delaware social workers in an email Wednesday after Delaware Online/The News Journal asked if the restaurant had been allowed to reopen.
However, the owner has indicated that he plans to put the restaurant into operation soon.
“Bonchon plans to reopen. At this time, there is no specific date for reopening as they await delivery of equipment,” a public relations spokesperson said in an email to Delaware Online. .
The fast-casual restaurant in Newark’s former College Square mall, now called The Grove at Newark, began serving Korean fried chicken in early July. It is part of a chain founded in Busan, South Korea in 2002.
Earlier: State closes Newark’s Bonchon Chicken Restaurant for ‘imminent health risks’ after fire
The Public Health Division office received a call Aug. 24 from the City of Newark Code Enforcement as well as the owner of Bonchon Korean Fried Chicken regarding a fire Aug. 21, according to an inspection report.
The restaurant owner told a state health inspector that a fire around 1 a.m. on Aug. 21 had badly burned a deep fryer, but fire alarms did not go off.
An inspector said that in addition to the damaged fryer in the kitchen, a small sandwich fridge next to the fryer had a large black mark on the side. Black soot was found on plastic forks, take-out containers, floors and equipment. Grease deposits were also found on a work table next to the fryers.
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The Public Health Division said the owner should remove the damaged fryer and replace it, discard all open food and items that have been contaminated with soot and smoke debris, and clean and sanitize all utensils, equipment cooktops, floors, walls and ceilings.
Bonchon Chicken must be reinspected by the state before it can reopen. Reopening without prior approval from the Public Health Division will result in fines of up to $1,000.