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Health department cites China Garden for customers’ use of buffet

ABC 17 News
China Garden on 3420 Clark Lane in Columbia.
china garden buffet jan 21 2021
Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services
A China Garden customer can be seen using the restaurant's buffet line during a department visit on Jan. 14.


The Columbia/Boone County health department cited China Garden on Clark Lane for allegedly breaking the city's pandemic health order.

A notice of violation from the health department said the restaurant is accused of allowing customers to serve themselves.

Health department workers said customers were seen using the buffet line and a self-serve ice cream machine during a visit on Jan. 14.

In the department's original coronavirus health order, it mandates that restaurants are barred from allowing customers to serve themselves.

"Self-service operations such as salad bars, buffets and beverage service stations that require customers to use shared utensils or dispensers will not be allowed at this time. These services will remain closed at this time," the health department said in its guidance for eateries.

ABC 17 News reached out to the restaurant for a comment on the citation but did not hear back as of Thursday afternoon.

A recent inspection on the same day as the citation also mentioned customers were seen using the buffet. The report said inspectors also found multiple critical violations; mold growing in an ice machine, raw fish and chicken being stored above cooked meat, no paper towels at a hand sink.

Inspectors included that an employee was seen washing off gloved hands and then proceeding onto other work without changing the gloves. The health department said food workers are supposed to change gloves between tasks.

Coronavirus / Health / News / Top Stories

Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.



  1. So how many of these poor abused customers who willingly served themselves are in the hospital or dead? I live in a nearby county wear we recognize BS when we smell it. A small fraction of the population is following “guidelines”, and yet the dead aren’t piling up on the streets. Go figure. Farming is dangerous. Construction is dangerous. Driving a car is dangerous. Are they outlawed?

    1. No, they are not. Because we willingly accept the risk. Why are we not allowed to willingly accept the risk of COVID? Because far too many fear life in general? Willing to sacrifice their lives to extend their existence?

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