Snapping turtle found in eatery’s sink

When Russell Dorm walked into the Panda Chinese Kitchen in York on Friday and spotted a live snapping turtle in the restaurant’s three-bay sink, he didn’t utter a sound.

“When I saw this turtle, I had to sit down and gather myself before I could speak,” said Dorm, York’s health and sanitation officer. “Nothing came out of my mouth.”

Typically, a restaurant’s three-bay sink is used to clean and sanitize utensils, pots and pans.

Housing a turtle in one of the bays represents a contamination risk. Turtles can carry pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli that could lead to foodborne illnesses, he said.

“I saw the turtle outside, and I tried to save its life,” said Andy Zhao, manager of the Panda Chinese Kitchen. “I put it in the sink first. It was wrong that we put it in the sink, that was my fault.”

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