Philadelphia Restaurant Sickens Wrong Crowd: Dozens Of Lawyers Fall Ill From Food Poisoning

Nearly 100 patrons of the Joy Tsin Lau Chinese restaurant in Philadelphia were sickened after an undisclosed “food source” became contaminated during a banquet. Health officials say they are not able to disclose the food source or how it was contaminated due to state laws. The restaurant owner claims that all 100 people must have “drank too much” or got a “cold” because her food did not cause the illness. However, city health officials do not agree and point to a “food source” within the restaurant as the cause of illness. Unfortunately for the restaurant owner, dozens of the sick patrons were lawyers or current law students who say they are inclined to “educate” this restaurant owner on proper food handling.

The Daily Mail reports that dozens of lawyers and law students from Temple University, along with nearly 100 patrons in total, were sickened after eating food from Joy Tsin Lau restaurant in Philadelphia during a banquet. Of the nearly 100 people sickened, many say they were bedridden from the horrible food poisoning, with others saying they required medical attention. One person at the banquet, who also happens to be a Philadelphia assistant district attorney, says the food poisoning was the worst she had ever seen.

“This was the worst case of food poisoning I’ve ever witnessed. Many individuals had to go to the ER.”

One lawyer who was stricken down by the food poisoning describes his hellish ordeal. He says that explosive diarrhea, projectile vomiting and stomach cramps were a thing of nightmares.

“I have never been more sick. Vile fluids were coming out of every orifice.”

Despite the fact that everyone who became ill had eaten food from the restaurant, the restaurant owner is not taking responsibility.

“It was not a problem with my restaurant. Maybe they got cold or drank too much.”

However, the city health department paints a different picture of the troubled establishment when it comes to proper food handling. Just two weeks before the food poisoning outbreak, a city Health Department employee cited the restaurant for multiple violations, including a lack of soap and paper towels in the employee restroom, which was noted as a repeat violation. Therefore, it seems that the restaurant has had a long history of violations prior to the outbreak.

“Potentially hazardous ready to eat food, prepared in the food facility and held for more than 48 hours, located in the walk in cooler, was not date marked.”

In fact, things were so severe at the restaurant in 2010 that the city Health Department sent a cease-and-desist order to the restaurant for “failure to ensure public-health standards for a safe and sanitary operation.” Despite the order, it seems the restaurant cleaned up its act enough to remain open to the public.

However, at least some of the lawyers at the toxic banquet say though they typically are not “inclined” to sue someone, they may make an exception in this case since the owner seems to bear no responsibility for her actions. If the possibility of being sued wasn’t enough to turn the stomach of Joy Tsin Lau’s owner, the horrendous Yelp reviews for her business likely will.

“If you enjoy being on your back for the 48 hours post-dinner writhing in pain, burning up, and exploding out of all orifices, then this is the restaurant for you.”

Do you think the health department has a responsibility to inform the public of the food item that was possibly contaminated, or are citations enough?

[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Joe Raedle]