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Inspection report reveals serious health code violations after rat soup video

Hanna McLean Mar 26, 2019 3:23 pm 783

It’s been a few months since we last reported on Crab Park Chowdery and that now-infamous rat-in-soup video that went viral in late December 2018.

The Vancouver restaurant found itself at the centre of controversy for weeks before announcing it would be officially closing its doors for good on January 20, 2019.

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Now, a report obtained by Daily Hive details the post-video inspection of the kitchen space Crab Park Chowdery was renting, located in the basement of nearby restaurant Mamie Taylor’s.  The conclusion? Vancouver Coastal Health deemed the food made there “unfit for human consumption.”


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According to a December 28, 2018, inspection report obtained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the 251 E Georgia Street commissary kitchen (which is no longer being used, according to Mamie Taylor’s) had several concerning health code violations.

Inspectors noted that “general sanitation was poor” and that when they arrived at the premises “staff were busy removing splattered food debris from the side of the walk-in cooler.”

In the report, several alarming points were outlined:

  • A thick accumulation of rodent excrement and accumulated debris was noted on the plumbing lines situated above the cooking equipment.
  • Mouse droppings were noted inside the walk-in cooler, as well as in the food preparation and food storage areas.
  • A cockroach was sighted running over [Crab Park Chowdery owner Ashton] Phillips’ head.
  • One of the prep tables was situated directly under a sewer line
  • Walls were largely unfinished.
  • The fixtures in the washroom were not in operating condition.

In addition, the inspection noted the space had no hand wash sink or fumehood canopy, and 10 L plastic containers of chowder that had been transferred into the walk-in cooler “were NOT covered.”

In the conclusion of the report, Phillips was directed to discard all chowder made in the commissary kitchen due to the conditions.

Crab Park continued to operate after the inspection but no longer used the kitchen in Mamie Taylor’s basement.

Owner of Mamie Taylor’s and landlord of the commissary kitchen, Ron Oliver, told Daily Hive in a statement that he “moved quickly to assess and remedy the situation as soon as it was brought to my attention that the commercial space had failed to comply with health standards.”

Oliver said he “addressed all the points in the December 28 report, working closely with Vancouver Coastal Health,” and chose to close the commissary kitchen indefinitely as a response to the situation.

“Since the removal of the tenant, the space has been inspected twice and has passed both times,” said Oliver.

Just a few weeks after the December 28 inspection, Crab Park Chowdery closed the doors to its brick and mortar Gastown location.

The soup and sandwich company’s food cart continues to operate.

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