That’s Not Funny, Roland. That’s Sick.

Anyone who’s ever suffered from severe food poisoning understands how painful and dangerous it can be. It’s typically twelve to eighteen hours of intense vomiting with excruciating pain that can only be relieved by a morphine drip at the E.R. The symptoms are so intense that food borne illness causes an estimated 5,000 deaths per year in the United States.

Last year Fullerton City Council candidate Roland Chi was charged with multiple misdemeanor health code violations when eleven people got sick (source) after allegedly eating food prepared at the Arirang Supermarket in Garden Grove. The DA wrote that Roland holds the position of Director for the troubled Korean market.

Me? I don’t eat there anymore.

When county health inspectors showed up at the market to investigate the reported illnesses, they described conditions there as “filthy” and “contaminated”. The violations they listed include no hot water for hand washing in the restrooms, unacceptable sanitation practices, raw beef and seafood sitting at room temperature, filthy utensils being washed too close to meat, raw beef being washed with a garden hose, and raw beef water splashing all over the kitchen. And that’s only part of the first report, which also included these graphic photos:

Soup of the day?

The incident led to a meeting with the District Attorney and a few more health inspectors. The meeting minutes show that while interviewing with the DA, Roland Chi admitted to understanding all of the violations and promised that they would be corrected. Chi was warned with an exact date and time for another inspection one week later.

Make sure you try the shrimp

When the health inspectors arrived for the follow-up, they found major uncorrected violations and a few brand new ones. And so after promising the DA that he would clean up his act, the market failed inspection for a second time.

The hose water marinade adds something special.

That second report described an employee cutting squid while raw seafood juices were splashing on the nearby sesame oil and spices, along with a bunch of meat and seafood sitting out at room temperature.

Refrigeration is overrated.

But it gets worse. Two weeks later the inspectors came back and found even more violations, listed in a third report.

Just in case you think we are exaggerating, here are some of the health inspector’s own words:

  • Observed an employee scooping salt with a metal bowl (without handles) from the large pull-up container. The salt and the bowl were observed contaminated with a crusted build-up of meat blood. The sugar in the pull-up container was also observed contaminated with blood.
  • Observed a meat handling employee with a meat label in his mouth, then picking it up with his gloves and putting it on the meat packaging then resumes to meat serving/packaging process.
  • Observed an electrical fly catcher stored above uncovered rice bags in the produce department. Discontinue storing food beneath the fly catcher.
  • Observed an open sewer line between two walk-in coolers in the warehouse.
Table. Floor. Would you like some more?

If you’ve been counting, that’s three consecutive sets of violations, 11 sick customers and one smarmy owner. The DA decided to charge Roland and his business partner with five health code violations.

A seepage of unknown origin. Care to look closer?

Six months later the DA dropped the charges against Roland, presumably in exchange for his business partner’s guilty plea. Still, the damage to the victims had already been done. The DA’s charges against Roland Chi for persistent neglect for the health and safety of his customers would be quite disturbing even if he wasn’t running for city council. But since he is, we have to ask:  Should someone this irresponsible be elected to run our city?

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43 thoughts on “That’s Not Funny, Roland. That’s Sick.

  1. Good Lord, that’s disgusting.

    Complete disregard for the law and the health of others. WTF is going on down there in Garden Grove?

    1. Okay that’s bad enough. On his website he claims to have the endorsement of DA Rackaukas.

      Do you have to kill someone to cause T-rack not to endorse you?

  2. Woah Vic…. the DA Rackaukas pinned criminal charges on the guy and then six months later he endorsed him for Fullerton city council? Ouch.

  3. Lived in GG a couple of years ago.

    Operated an a disgustingly filthy food operation and got popped. Plea bargained.

    Moved to Fullerton, joined some civic groups, and runs for political office.

    P.S. I notice that some of his endorsers are the biggest Redevelopment/staff cheerleaders in Fullerton. I have seen more than enough.

  4. This is absolutely terrible, with a lot of dots connecting right through to corrupt(ing) local government – aimed right at Fullerton!

    A candidate to campaign AGAINST!

  5. I read the reports and it’s apparent that NO one is in charge. Conditions like this take leadership AND consistency.
    I certainly hope they situation has been rectified, and that Chi comes contacts Admin to clear it up.

  6. I’ve had food poisoning before. It was some of the worst pain I had ever been through in my life. Eventually I became dehydrated from vomiting and almost lost consciousness. I had to go to the emergency room.

    Thank God I had insurance. Otherwise that would have been some expensive sushi.

    I looked at the reports and the key here is the ongoing violations month after month, even after people got sick. There was definitely a good reason for the DA to file charges.

  7. Is Janet Nguyen’s hubbie a partner in this market too? His sandwich operation has some experience in health code violations.

  8. Leaders lead by example. Chi’s leadership of the market is a harbinger of his intentions for Fullerton. The City’s citizens will be in peril with Chi leading the City process. Fullerton needs a steward of the City government and a watch-dog over the often jealous staff. With Chi, it will be anything goes. The staff may actually be less damaging than Chi, if that can be imagined. For too long the unofficial City motto of “it’s good enough” will be a memory of better times in Fullerton as the Chi governed City will adhere to “the people don’t matter.”

  9. It was disgusting and gross by reading through this article, but it warrants Fullerton voters by NOT voting for Roland!

    T-Rack drops charges and then endorses Chi….How ironic!

    What would DA Spitzer have done towards Chi?

  10. Wow that is the worst thing I’ve ever seen. The worst part is that he says he represents the Korean people, how can he when he is busy poisoning them!

  11. He seems to consistently be absent when leadership is needed. He opened the Garden Grove Downtown Farmers Market the quickly disappeared when concerns arose from the downtown business owners. He seems to open things and forget to do clean up afterwards.

  12. I’m not feeling so good right about now and jus’from reading the health dept. report. No dinner for me tonight…. Thanks Travis.

  13. Wish I had some photos of the slum housing that Bushala owns (and owned), so we could all point at the gang-infested cesspool that the Bushala family presides over.

    What a contributor to Fullerton!

  14. I gotta say so far 3 out of the 4 (don’t know anything about Fonte yet) have to be about 3 of sorriest sacks of crap I have seen in awhile. This is supposed to be a choice?

    1. The choice is Bruce Whitaker – the dude who’s been fighting the good fight for 20 freakin’ years. These other creeps and crooks will disappear when you’re done with them.

      Prediction: in three months Roland Che will be back living in Garden Grove. Or any other place where he sees his Main Chance.

  15. Last night at Central Committee Roland Chi insisted the whole Code Enforcement problem was simply a “language” issue. That he is on the Board of Directors of the business but is not really involved, and after this had been stweing for 2 years he realized what was happening and fixed it within hours. It took him 2 years to figure out his business was routinely getting written up? Did he not VISIT the site for 2 years and see for himself that it was awful? Come on. To his credit, Bruce Whitaker refused to bag on his opponent, he stayed classy, and got the Central Committee endorsement.

    1. Oh, Brother. Way to take responsibility.

      Is that what we need now. Fullerton has had decades of unaccountable electeds.

      Time to change all that!

    2. “Language” issue is always an excuse with those that do not speak our English language.

      Roland tried to spin his way out on the matter last night by blaming it on his Father…Nice!

      Bruce Whitaker was very classy and stayed above the fray…the right guy we need on the Fullerton City Council!

      1. I want to know how language was a barrier at the CRA endorsement meeting last Saturday morning. I heard the Chi clan was there bullet voting (they recently became voting members of course by paying money) just for Roland and helped to f-up the endorsements of other Republicans there too because of a language barrier.

  16. Hey Who Cares…there is no way that the word Jackass and Bruce Whitaker can be uttered in the same breath… Obviously you have never met the man.

    1. I don’t have to. Everything else aside I emailed him some questions about how he felt on issues, which he totally blew off, but he did reply to join him at some type of fundraiser for himself. So here we go in one breath Jackass, Whitaker.
      Again nothing personal to you. But he already acts like he has the position. If he is already blowing me off, can’t imagine any improvement if he is elected.

  17. Hey TheRealJohnAdams…your attempt to deflect the issue away from Chi, found in violation by independent agencies doing their job to protect the public health, and on to a Fullerton citizen and businessman who creates jobs and prosperity, demonstrates that you are intellectually lazy. You are like a child that gets in trouble and blames everyone else for their problem. To be sure, you shame the historic memory of John Adams.

  18. I was under the impression that it was Chi’s father’s business. I see Roland is listed as “managing director” but that doesn’t necessarily mean he has to maintain a physical presence at the store itself. While the AR Market situation is a potential red flag as to Roland Chi’s responsibility, I think FFFF is going a bit overboard with their virulent condemnation. I’m not pro or con about ANYBODY….yet. I prefer not to make such judgments so quickly, and try and get as much information as I can before I make a decision.

  19. Sebourn almost wasn’t endorsed. Roland walked around the room and told his clan who to vote for. It makes you wonder if Roland even knew Travis was in the room ready to break this story?

  20. 92833 zip code has the highest concentration of asians of all zip codes in the city of Fullerton (about 25%). Likely most of them are Koreans and I believe it’s true that Mr. Chi lives in this zip code. I am not a racist but I doubt unknowing caucasians will vote for a guy with the last name of CHI. I don’t care how many signs the guy has. This election is shedding needed light on the Chi family indiscretions. The are not interested in quality, only quantity. Regardless of the outcome of this election, I will not spend another cent in his market and I will pass the word about the unhealthy conditions. November 2nd, hurry up and get here so we can squash this guy named Chi.

  21. Wow i can’t belive all these hater comments and posts. You guys really want this guy to not get on fullerton council. Well not me im voting for him. hes a great guy even though you people waste time to make him look bad

    P.S. The food taste great there, and also 90% is the people’s fault for not consuming the food within an hr. they left it in warm weather and made the food go bad before they ate it. end of story.

  22. Response to comment #25. Yes, Roland had to know there was health department violations at the grocery store, as his office for years was located just above the kitchen on the second floor of the grocery store. He was through this kitchen every time he went to his office.

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