LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (CBS46) -- A CBS46 investigation uncovered a photograph which shows a restaurant employee cutting meat on the ground outside the back door. 

It happened at New China on New Hope Road in Lawrenceville and prompted the health department to investigate. Joseph Sternberg is the Director of Environmental Health in Gwinnett County. 

“It just seemed surprising that someone would think it’s okay to chop up raw meat on the concrete,” Sternberg said. 

His team questioned management at New China; and they were told the employee was preparing meat for his own consumption.

“Based on what we saw it does not match an item they serve to their customers either on their menu or any sort of special-order item,” Sternberg said.

Still concerned, CBS46 questioned management on Tuesday and they said the employee no longer works at the restaurant and they were not serving the meat to customers.

“No, no, no it’s not,” New China Manager Dan Wu said.

Our investigation looked in to the history of New China. In February, they scored 61-points and a ‘U’ for having food at unsafe temperatures. Since then they’ve maintained ‘A’s’ scoring a 100 in July. So how did this happen?

“He was trying to cut it in the restaurant, but we were like you’re not on the clock. Go home and cut it and he went outside and cut, and we weren’t aware,” New China Manager Shawn said.

“We’ll do some informal monitoring where we just drive by and see what’s going on behind the facility and then we’ll do more formalized inspections,” Sternberg said.

The Gwinnett County Environmental Health Department did not shut down New China because they didn't feel like there was an eminent threat to public health.

That said, restaurant employees in Georgia are not required to have a food handler license, like they are in other states. Health officials said if the state would implement this policy it would help to better educate restaurants, especially when their cultural differences.

Copyright 2019 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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