Teriyaki King Shut Down After Complaints of Unsafe Food Practices

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CERES -- The lights are off, the doors are closed, and while the news of Teriyaki King's forced shutdown comes as a shock to some costumers, former employees aren't surprised. But they do fear the same issues will come up again.

"It's a temporary fix. Like he'll turn off the fridge, let it melt, and then start it all over again, it'll freeze again, it'll melt again, everything's temporary," said former Teriyaki King employee Natasha Titsworth.

Titsworth shared photos of inside the Ceres restaurant on social media. The photos show evidence of insects crawling on raw meat and chicken left to defrost in buckets.

Titsworth claims the pictures were all taken within the last month. She filed a complaint with Stanislaus County on Tuesday.

The following day an inspector forced owners to close.

"They'll have to remain closed until they believe they have corrected the problems and they will call for a re-inspection and potential reopening of the facility," said Jami Aggers, director of Environmental Resources.

According to the report, the inspector found five major violations, including a bucket of raw chicken left to marinade in a warm kitchen.

The owner was told to throw the spoiled meat away and clean up the mess.

Aggers says inspectors typically visit restaurants twice a year.

"We can't be there all the time, so anytime they think there's a problem, it's not being addressed, they can always let us know, we'll come back out and take a look," Aggers said.

But former employees say the county needs to come down harder on Teriyaki King.

"No, he won't, he won't learn his lesson. He's going to continue to follow the same thing," former cook Lee Chea said.

Reports of roaches and sewage issues forced the restaurant to close two years ago. They remodeled and the county gave them the green light to operate their business once again.

Former employees argue this allowed the same issues to occur.

They fear the owner will once again force the staff to sell rotten and spoiled meat to unknowing families.