Catalogue of hygiene failures revealed

RODENT droppings in the oven, dirty floors, ceilings and walls, and under-heated chicken.These are just some of the disgusting conditions Ipswich's environmental health officers discovered when they visited premises selling food in the town.

RODENT droppings in the oven, dirty floors, ceilings and walls, and under-heated chicken.

These are just some of the disgusting conditions Ipswich's environmental health officers discovered when they visited premises selling food in the town.

Today, it emerged the borough's health protectors issued 57 improvement notices to 21 pubs, takeaways, restaurants and shops which fell below the required hygiene standards during 2005.

The figures were issued to The Evening Star by the borough council under Freedom of Information laws.

An overwhelming majority of the businesses were eventually given a clean bill of health after being told to get their kitchens, toilets, food preparation and storage areas in order.

However one ended up being prosecuted and fined, while another had to be compulsorily closed down because of the appalling state of its kitchen and the lack of protection against pests.

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During the last complete financial year from March 31, 2004 to April 1, 2005, council officers said they carried out 612 inspections across the borough.

Ann Bryant, acting commercial services manager for Ipswich Borough Council, said: “Generally speaking most premises are fine and operating to a satisfactory standard, but we then have some premises, which for various different reasons, fall below the standards we expect.

“We take this very seriously. Our first purpose is to try to help people to comply with the law, but we do have sanctions which we can take to comply with the legislation if people ignore it.”

One of the worst culprits was shut down after it was found to have contravened 17 regulations in the Food Safety Act 1990.

It was served with an emergency prohibition notice on August 18 last year, although it was allowed to re-open within 48 hours after it complied with the improvements demanded.

Although almost 60 notices were issued only one business, T-Junction in Carr Street, Ipswich, was successfully prosecuted during 2005.

However, in November last year Roman Rowlands, a director of the restaurant, had the fines it was given for poor hygiene slashed from £4,500 to £500 at an appeal hearing at Ipswich Crown Court.

Some of the reasons for improvement notices being issued.

Tiled walls dirty and in disrepair

Dirty work surfaces

Peeling paintwork

Dirty toilet

Ceiling splattered with dirt, grease and oil

Rusty and unclean freezers

Cobwebs on walls

Droplets of grease and condensation on the ceiling

Hot chicken being displayed at more than 10C below statutory 63C.

Lack of protection against pests

Lack of food hygiene staff training

Dirty floors

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