Have you ever had the chicken at Pad Thai in Norman? If you're reading this, I'll assume you have not because you're still alive.
Recently, the Campus Corner eatery came under some extra spicy fire after pics of raw chicken being left in the sun behind the restaurant circulated on Instagram and Twitter. Drew Braum immediately praised the restaurant for their innovative food preparation techniques.
A photo is worth a thousand words. For one local restaurant, a little clarification may be worth a lot more in both dollars and patrons' peace of mind.Two complaints were filed with the Cleveland County Health Department last week after a photo circulating on Facebook and Instagram arose suspicion. The photo in question shows pounds of raw uncovered chicken strewn across plastic crates behind Pad Thai restaurant, 104 W. Boyd St., covered in flies and sitting in the sun.The picture garnered responses from revulsion to rancor, with some calling for extreme measures and others vowing to avoid the restaurant for fear of food-borne illness.
On a positive note, at least it wasn't dog!
Here's one of the photos of the carnage:
First of all, I'm pretty sure that's the same way Applebee's makes their riblets. Second, that's the reason you never make important plans after eating Thai food. Toss that chicken with some egg noodles, ground peanuts and sweet and spicy sauce and I'm sure it will taste totally normal. You'll never know the difference.
Fortunately, there was a logical explanation for this sun-dried salmonella cocktail. It was made by people from Kansas:
Pad Thai employee Lompai Richard said the chicken was never meant to be served."I think (other employees) make sausage. They were just trying to dry the case out. It's not for sale. It's not for consumers," she said.As for why it was being prepared at the restaurant, she said, "Well, when they have free time, they make the food. And a couple of people go back home to Kansas. A lot of people eat sticky rice with dry meat, or sausage. It's sticky rice, so they can eat it with their hands while they're driving ... stuff like that."They try to dry it. Then, they deep fry them. It's not for the consumer. It's for them. I didn't even know until the health department came in. I was pretty shocked. I didn't know that at all. So, it's not going to happen again."Richard said as soon as she found out, she spoke to her staff and prohibited the practice of private use chicken jerky preparation.
Not to be a conspiracy theorist or anything, but for someone who didn't know his employees were making chicken sausage next to the dumpster behind the store he manages, Richard sure does seem to know a lot about chicken sausage being made behind the store he manages. I bet he's from Kansas.
Pad Thai's owner also chimed-in with ignorance, but instead of apologizing and making excuses, he seemed just as confused as we are:
Pad Thai owner Nui Chuntarsoun said, "We've been in business for a long time. Why would we do something like that? It's nothing to do with serving customers at all."He said those responsible were visiting and he didn't know they were preparing food in that way at the restaurant."They live in Kansas, but they're from Laos. They didn't know. They didn't eat it. They didn't cook it or anything," he said. "These visitors make my restaurant look really bad ... It's just the wrong place at the wrong time. It's a true story. I'm really pissed about it."
1. So they didn't eat the chicken sausage? I thought they mixed it with sticky rice so they can eat it on their way to Kansas.
2. I'd be pissed, too. And I'd be even more pissed if I regularly ate at Pad Thai. Do they wash the crates that are used to make these Salmonella sticks? I hope so.
3. The next time OU plays Kansas in football or basketball, I know which Norman restaurant is going to be busy. The student section should throw sticky rice or raw chicken at the bus when it arrives in town.