Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Health Ministry closes popular Asian fusion restaurant Tin Jo

June 24, 2011

The Health Ministry closed popular Asian fusion restaurant Tin Jo on Friday for health code violations.

Two days earlier, the ministry received from Tin Jo customers complaints of vomiting, weakness and other symptoms of food poisoning. An investigation of the restaurant, located in the heart of San José, discovered various infractions.

Health Vice Minister Mauricio Vargas said an inspector found that Tin Jo lacked plans for several procedures, such as waste management and procedures in case of emergency. According to Vargas, employees were not licensed to handle food, some working in the kitchen didn’t use gloves when preparing foods, and raw meat, fish and chicken were stored together.

Vargas said the restaurant’s physical condition looked neglected, walls and floors were dirty, and exposed wires snaked through parts of the restaurant. Simpler problems like the absence of a grease trap and garbage cans in the kitchen lacking lids also contributed to the closure.

“There were quite a bit of problems,” Vargas said. “The only thing we could do was to close it.”

The elegant entrance to the restaurant has been shuttered. Two rectangular blue stickers placed on the door read “Closed by the Health Ministry.”

Owners Maria Hon and Robert Faulstich posted a message on Tin Jo’s Facebook page mentioning the closure:

“We are very sorry to inform you that Tin Jo was closed by the Health Ministry. We are taking the measures necessary to fix the cited deficiencies. We deeply regret this inconvenience. Thank you for your understanding of this situation.”

The Health Ministry expects to receive from Tin Jo in the upcoming week a plan for fixing the cited problems. Vargas said he couldn’t estimate when it might reopen.

“It’s going to a big effort,” Vargas said. “But it really depends on the owners.”

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