Ithaca, N.Y. — Taste of Thai has been closed because health inspectors found sewage leaking from the restaurant’s plumbing fixtures, said Adriel Shea of the Tompkins County Health Department.
“It wasn’t in the food, but that’s the concern — that’s why it has to close,” Shea said. “It presents a significant public health hazard.”
The 14850 Dining Report broke the news Tuesday that Taste of Thai, on Ithaca’s Commons, had been shuttered by the health department because of sanitation concerns and faulty plumbing. Shea confirmed the accuracy of that report to The Ithaca Voice a little later in the day.
Shea said he didn’t have an exact date for when the discovery was made, but said that it happened last week.
Inspectors closed the restaurant the same day and hung a placard on the front ordering it shuttered. The placard orders a “closure and cessation of all service operations,” a photo taken by the 14850 Dining Report shows.
Shea said Taste of Thai’s owners have complied with the order but need to take several other steps before the restaurant can reopen.
“We won’t remove the placard until they can furbish us with proof that a repair has been made,” Shea said.
Shea said he wasn’t sure where the sewage appeared.
“You’re not allowed to have leaking sewage anywhere on the premises, so it’s sort of irrelevant as to where it was,” Shea said. “They have to close.”
Efforts to speak with the owners of Taste of Thai have proven unsuccessful so far. Angsana Pancharoen was named as the owner of the restaurant in a 2003 story in The Ithaca Times.
Shea said Taste of Thai’s owners now have to go through the Department of Public Works to apply for a permit to have the repair made.
The family that owns Taste of Thai and Tamarind admitted to “substantial labor law and wage violations” in 2009, according to the 14850 Dining Report. That publication also said that the restaurant has since paid back the money.
Taste of Thai is a popular Ithaca restaurant that has been cited by national publications.
“The city is known for having outstanding Thai food, including the well regarded restaurant Taste of Thai,” Business Insider said in 2013.