Choking: The Universal Language


Michael Touchard of the Hell’s Kitchen bistro Tout Va Bien speaks fluent French, fluent English, and kitchen Spanish. But he doesn’t speak — or read — a word of Chinese. Neither do many of his customers. So let’s hope nobody chokes.

On November 21, the Department of Health visited Tout Va Bien and found violations totaling 64 points. According to the inspection report, “‘Choking first aid’ poster not posted. ‘Alcohol and Pregnancy’ warning sign not posted. ‘Wash hands’ sign not posted at hand wash facility. Resuscitation equipment: exhaled air resuscitation masks (adult & pediatric), latex gloves, sign not posted. Inspection report sign not posted.” Touchard had to remedy this by his compliance inspection on December 13. He visited the DOH to pick up a new sign, but they were all out of the English–language version. No Spanish, either, or even French. So, now, between a photo of Edith Piaf and the coat check, there’s a Chinese choking-victim poster. And Tout Va Bien passed its most recent inspection.

Tout Va Bien Inspection Report [DOH]