Dirty Chinese takeaway fined for kitchen filth

By CATHERINE ATKINSON Email: catherine.atkinson@archant.co.uk HEALTH officers have fined a Littleport Chinese takeaway owner £4,000 for having a dirty kitchen. They discovered filthy, mouldy surfaces and old food incorrectly labelled when they visited Ori

By CATHERINE ATKINSON

Email: catherine.atkinson@archant.co.uk

HEALTH officers have fined a Littleport Chinese takeaway owner £4,000 for having a dirty kitchen.

They discovered filthy, mouldy surfaces and old food incorrectly labelled when they visited Oriental Home in Granby Street.


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Dirty floors, mouldy fridge seals and shelves with flaking painted surfaces which were incapable of being clean were also found in the kitchen.

Pre-cooked food in containers was not labelled with dates when it was made, or by when it should be used, Ely magistrates were told.

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When Environmental Health officers visited the outlet in May 2007, they discovered filthy, mouldy surfaces and old food with no use by labels.

Owner Ping Zhang closed Oriental Home voluntarily on May 29 and did clean up his kitchen for health officers' follow up visit, said a council spokesperson. However, the kitchen was so dirty when officers first visited, that a decision was made to prosecute.

Mr Zhang pleaded guilty to four breaches of health and safety regulations on January 8, including 'failure to make adequate provision for washing food.' He will have to pay a total of £5,333 after legal costs.

"They were appalled to see the condition which the kitchen was kept in," said Maggie Camp, senior legal assistant at East Cambridgeshire District Council.

"As well as dirty floors, and mould on fridge seals, shelves had flaking painted surfaces which were unclean and incapable of being clean. There were also failures on behalf of the owner to have systems in place to track when containers of precooked food were made or should be used by."

Summing up, magistrate Kathy Bradney said: "Mr Zhang appeared to have failed to take his responsibilities seriously and learnt his lesson from previous time in court."

Ai-Ling Hamdan, speaking for Mr Zhang, said: "Three of the charges that he pleaded guilty to were very minor. We feel the fine is unnecessarily hard. The local authority has had a problem communicating with us and we have to think how to better resolve the issue of food safety together."

Mr Zhang was also fined for six breaches of health and safety regulations in December 2006.

"We would like this prosecution to serve as a warning to other restaurant owners, said Mrs Camp. "We will do everything in our power to ensure that residents and visitors to the district receive the best service and standards of cleanliness possible and will take action on those who fail to meet the legal standards.

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