BRATTLEBORO — Japanese restaurant employees are being accused of serving oranges taken from a dumpster, according to a complaint filed with the Vermont Department of Health.

"Establishment employees are taking food (oranges) out of Aldi's dumpster and serving it at the restaurant," the document said, referring to Panasian on Putney Road.

Panasian manager Paul Bau told the Reformer it was a misunderstanding.

"We already contacted the person taking things from the dumpster," he said, explaining police told Panasian that items cannot be taken from a dumpster belonging to another business. "He's gone."

A press release from the Brattleboro Police Department was issued Tuesday. The incident was reported by an individual on Dec. 26, according to the complaint.

State health inspector Thomas Hubbell filed a report four days later saying a manager at Panasian stated some employees take food home from Aldi's dumpster but it is not used in the restaurant.

"I informed the manager that the employees should not take food from Aldi's dumpster. It is an unsanitary practice and they could become ill," Hubbell wrote. "I will notify Aldi's."

Contact Chris Mays at or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.