NEWS

Restaurant With Bear Carcass Gets OK To Reopen

12/22/2011 05:40 EST | Updated 02/21/2012 05:12 EST

One government department has given a Fredericton restaurant the green light to reopen, but another is still investigating after the discovery of a partial bear carcass this week.

The Mandarin Palace on Forest Hill was shut down by the Department of Health after a health inspector found decomposing bear meat in a cooler during a routine check Tuesday. It was ordered to do a thorough cleaning of the entire restaurant.

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

A new inspection report shows all health and safety rules are now being followed but notes that “a food course must be completed, as discussed, after opening.”

Meanwhile, the New Brunswick Department of National Resources is investigating the illegal possession of bear meat.

“We have the front half of a carcass of a bear at this time. We don’t have the hindquarters of the bear. Officers are currently trying to ascertain the location of those parts and the nature of where this bear may have come from,” said Neil Jacobson, the provincial conservation manager.

He also added that it’s still early in the investigation and that in addition to finding out where the bear came from, they'll also be trying to determine whether it was illegally harvested, and why it was at the restaurant.

On Wednesday, the Department of Health stated that any risk to public health was very low.

The department also indicated 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 health department said 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.