Citations issued by Montreal's food inspection agency didn't result in an egregious amount of fines in March, but the sum total of $55,250 wasn't anything to sneeze at. (Still, a far cry from October 2015, when restaurants and other food businesses were fined close to $110,000.) What's notable about last month's docket is that one restaurant incurred $11,600 in fines alone. That restaurant, Le Cristal Chinois in Chinatown, fell afoul of food inspectors ten times between July 2014 and July 2015. It's an unusual amount of reprimands, and an uncommonly high fine for a single establishment.
In six of the incidents, the primarily Cantonese restaurant violated the regulation that mandates that (translated) "perishable products sold hot or served hot to the consumer must be kept at an internal temperature of at least 60°C." Other fines were levied for unsanitary conditions, and, worryingly, traces of pests. It's regrettable news for the grand Swatow Plaza establishment, proclaimed as the "Rolls Royce of Chinese restaurants in Montreal" when it opened in 2011 with a hyped Hong Kong chef in the kitchen.
Another well-known restaurant located in the city's core also incurred significant fines last month. Buffet Maharaja will have to pay $7,900 on the heels of three citations related to unsanitary conditions in 2014 and 2015. The restaurant was fined $1,500 for the same infraction in 2014. More abominable cases have involved the city's low-rent sushi restaurants. There was the infamous Sushi 999, and, recently, Le Journal de Montréal reported that Japon Sushi Bar in Saint-Laurent was closed by inspectors for a day due to a cockroach infestation. Verdun's Sushi Time was also busted for filth and vermin. The subsequent fines for both restaurants were only $1,750 and $1,650, respectively.