Downtown Calgary restaurant Yemeni Village closed for laundry list of health violations

A downtown Calgary restaurant has been shuttered following the release of a scathing Alberta Health Services (AHS) report that listed dozens of violations.

The closure order, dated May 9, says Yemeni Village on 402 8 Street SW was operating amidst a number of problems, including poor sanitation and cleaning practices, improper food storage, improper temperature control, mold, mice, and more.

Of note was the finding of 10 frozen lamb heads in a back chest freezer and three bags of various lamb parts in the walk-in cooler.

AHS says there were no physical invoices on site and the electronic invoices provided to inspectors weren’t able to prove the source of the animals. Health officials also say there were no labels on the meat to indicate where it came from.

This comes following the closure of five Calgary businesses by AHS last month for selling uninspected meat.

Alberta RCMP later said eight businesses, also in the city, were being investigated for their involvement in the slaughter and sale of uninspected meat, though didn’t confirm if the establishments involved were those ordered to close by AHS.

Other violations by Yemeni Village include a food handler making food in the kitchen wearing “heavily soiled” clothing, raw chicken being stored at 10 C, a yogurt-based drink being stored at 9 C, mouse droppings, lack of hot water at the handwashing sink, mold on the ceiling of the back kitchen, and more.

The order directs the restaurant’s owner to resolve all issues identified by the inspector before it is allowed to reopen to the public.

Reports have said the business is up for sale, evidenced by a sign outside the downtown location, however CIR Realty associate broker Kamil Lalji tells CityNews it is the building and land that are for sale.

He adds the owner of the building listed it “long before” the AHS order, with Lalji explaining the owner learned about at the same time as the general public.

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