NEWS

Decomposing Bear Meat Closes Fredericton Restaurant

12/21/2011 06:08 EST | Updated 02/20/2012 05:12 EST

A Fredericton restaurant has been closed after decomposing bear meat was found during a routine inspection Tuesday.

The Mandarin Palace Restaurant on Forest Hill Road was closed due to concerns the decomposing meat could have contaminated other contents in a cooler.

An inspection record posted on the government's website said, "Food must be purchased from an approved source. Wild animals are not approved."

"Although bear meat is eaten by hunters and so forth, we don't allow wild game to be used in restaurants and so it was considered a critical violation of the Public Health Act," said Dr. Cristin Muecke, regional medical officer of health.

The restaurant will remain closed until the cooler has been properly cleaned.

The meat was turned over to the Department of Natural Resources, which is investigating.

Any risk to public health is very low, according to the Department of Health.

The department says only about 1.5 per cent of black bears carry trichinella, a parasite that may be transmitted to humans through consumption of raw or undercooked infected bear meat.

The department says it doesn’t have evidence that this bear was suffering from the disease, but samples of the meat have been sent for testing.

Results should be known in a few days.