Food & Drink

He found more than shrimp in his fried rice. Something more fecal and ‘awful smelling’

While finding hair in your food is never ideal, poop in your rice can be terrifying.

A Gainesville man thinks that is exactly what he found in his shrimp fried rice last week.

On Friday, Johnny Carr and his wife ordered a lunch special, six chicken wings with shrimp fried rice from China Star, a restaurant in Gainesville. He loves the place and said he’s been going there forever.

The next day he went to eat his leftovers.

He took several bites after tasting something “awful and pasty.” He said he could smell something awful while eating. He took out what looked to be dried feces and smeared it on a paper towel.

“I can tell that this poop was dry and mixed in with the rice! How does supposedly fresh cooked rice have poop in it?!” he said in a Facebook post the next day.

Carr called the Alachua County Health Department and they told him that they would pick up the poop to be tested at a lab.

He then went to the doctor and got a clean bill of health.

Nelson Gheng, the owner of China Star, said “we can’t believe something like that happened.”

Gheng said he doesn’t believe Carr’s claims and doesn’t understand why the pictures aren’t of the alleged poop in the rice, but on a napkin.

“It’s just not true,” he said.

In the over 20 years China Star has been opened, Gheng said, “we have never gotten complaints like this before.”

Since 2016, China Star has had eight inspections by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. In all but one, the restaurant has met inspection standards.

In July, inspectors had to do a follow-up visit due to potentially hazardous food not being discarded and cutting boards being stained and soiled.

The latest inspection took place Wednesday and was initiated due to a complaint being filed. The other seven inspections in the last two years have been routine.

In Wednesday’s inspection, inspectors found two high priority violations. High Priority violations are those which could contribute directly to a food-borne illness or injury.

The violations were for chlorine sanitizers not being at proper strength and potentially hazardous food not being marked with a time to be disposed.

Gheng said the health inspector told them that the restaurant was “perfect” and “fine.”

Carr isn’t looking to sue and said he put the word out so people could stay safe while eating. For now, he is vowing not to eat out again — except for his yearly wedding anniversary meal at Red Lobster.

“I loved this place. I couldn’t be more devastated,” Carr said. “If people are still going to go there, I just want them to check their food.”

Miami Herald Real Time Reporter Devoun Cetoute covers breaking news, Florida theme parks and general assignment. He attends the University of Florida and grew up in Miami. Theme parks are on his mind in and out of the office.