Mystery Meat? It’s Venison!

You’ve probably heard all the jokes about what happens in the kitchens at certain exotic cuisine restaurants and the innuendo about where the cooks obtain the meat used in their East Asian stir-fry dishes.

Well, one oriental food establishment achieved the dubious distinction of living up to those tongue-in-cheek expectations last week when health inspectors found a whitetail deer carcass in the process of being skinned in the kitchen of the China King Restaurant in Hamburg, NY.

Chinese_Stir_Fry

A report in today’s Buffalo (NY) Times confirms that Erie County Health Department officials acting on a tip Friday found the dead deer inside the business, prompting them to immediately close the dining establishment until further notice.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for later this week.

Officials investigating the health code violation said it was unknown whether the deer originated as roadkill or was killed by a hunter and brought to the China King for processing. 

Here at the Outdoor Life Newshound, we can only assume the health inspectors didn’t think to check the hide for tire-tread marks.

“From our standpoint, it doesn’t matter,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Anthony J. Billittier IV. “In general, you can’t have a dead animal in a food services establishment.”

Billittier told the Buffalo newspaper there was no reason to believe that the meat from the deer was going to be served at China King.

“What were they going to do with the meat? I don’t think we’ll ever really know the answer to that,” said Billittier.

A message on the restaurant’s answering machine Monday said it was closed because of “family emergencies.”

There was no mention whether a “Gone Hunting” sign is currently posted at the establishment.

That’s what we would’ve done.