Rat problem forces Chinese closure

PUBLISHED: 11:42 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 13:30 04 May 2010

AN emergency closure notice was slapped on the rat infested Queens Chef Chinese take-away restaurant in Littleport last week. Although the premises was re-opened on Friday after a check, a court on Thursday heard the details that prompted the action on Th

AN emergency closure notice was slapped on the rat infested Queens Chef Chinese take-away restaurant in Littleport last week.

Although the premises was re-opened on Friday after a check, a court on Thursday heard the details that prompted the action on Thursday

Rat droppings were found in the Granby Street restaurant during a routine visit by environment health officers.

Senior environmental health officer Pamela Pope discovered:

# Rat droppings in the food storage area

# Rat droppings in cupboards where kitchen utensils were kept

# The premises were in a poor state of cleanliness

# There was no proper rodent or pest proofing.

The officer had no mandate to close the premises during that first visit on Friday May 5 - but when she returned on Monday May 8 she served an emergency hygiene prohibition notice, and the premises were shut down.

Returning to the take-away three days later, Mrs Pope found the premises had been cleaned BUT

n A rat dropping was found in the store room

n A large accumulation of rat droppings were found in the boiler room.

"In the store there was some rodent proofing, but there were still some holes, so it was inadequate, there was still a risk to health," she told Ely magistrates on Thursday.

Proprietor Mr Zhang Ping said the premises had suffered from flooding last year, and the business severely affected.

Apologising for the rat droppings being found, he said advice had been sought over cleaning, and he was aware there was a health risk.

The magistrates imposed a hygiene emergency prohibition order that will keep the premises closed until the council is satisfied they have been thoroughly cleaned.

After the hearing, Steve Clements, executive director of East Cambridgeshire District Council environment services said: "Taking this action demonstrates the council's commitment to protecting public safety, and we will continue to take action against businesses failing to keep up adequate standards and endangering public health.

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