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Philadelphia Sues To Shut Down Chinatown Restaurant After Dozens Allegedly Sickened

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The city of Philadelphia filed a lawsuit this month in an attempt to shut down a popular Chinatown restaurant where dozens of lawyers were allegedly sickened during an event. Owners of the restaurant now say since then, they got a clean bill of heath from the city.

Known for its dim sum, Joy Tsin Lau at 10th and Race Streets is a go-to place in Chinatown. But this past February, a dining experience allegedly resulted in days of vomiting and diarrhea for 100 people, mostly lawyers and law students. On May 6th the city sued to shut Joy Tsin Lau down.

"So far we haven't received anything from the city," says general manager Kevin Ma. He says city officials tested the food and employees at the restaurant and discovered the illnesses were caused by a norovirus, not food poisoning from food served at the event.

And while he acknowledged negative inspections, including one on April 16th that included violations like cooked chicken parts found in a pot on a sidewalk and mouse droppings in the kitchen areas, Ma says the Department of Public Health came back on April 18th and gave them the green light:

"We did everything they asked us to do to make sure the restaurant is 100-percent running according to city code."

Ma says the restaurant is open and serving customers, but will respond to the lawsuit once they receive it.

A spokesman says the city does not comment on pending litigation.

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