Restaurant fined for hygiene breaches

A CHINESE restaurant has been fined £15,000 for serving food from a filthy kitchen.Owners of the Oriental Fountain in Stowmarket pleaded guilty to five counts of flouting hygiene rules at Sudbury Magistrates' Court.

A CHINESE restaurant has been fined £15,000 for serving food from a filthy kitchen.

Owners of the Oriental Fountain in Stowmarket pleaded guilty to five counts of flouting hygiene rules at Sudbury Magistrates' Court.

The court heard how a spot check from Mid Suffolk District Council's food safety officers on August 17 revealed a crowded kitchen filled with dirty dishes piled high over the sinks, mouldy chopping boards and tubs of raw meat stored on the dirty and cracked floor.

RGB Partners, which owns the restaurant on Station Road West, pleaded guilty to failing to complete hygiene paperwork, failing to protect food from contamination, failure to keep equipment clean, failing to keep the kitchen clean and failing to train staff adequately in food safety procedures.


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A sixth charge of failing to keep a sink available for hand washing was withdrawn.

Jonathon Reed, for Mid Suffolk, said the officer found a “very cluttered” kitchen with bowls of cooked noodles standing next to raw meat and bowls of cooked rice standing on cardboard. The paint was peeling and there was mould on the wall and ceiling of the staff toilets, he said.

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The inspector also witnessed one member of staff cutting meat and dropping it into a bucket, which was then kicked along the floor.

Don Sheahan, for RGB Partners, said the restaurant had recently been left without a manager and although head chef Lock Way Ming had been given overall responsibility he had “failed abysmally” in that role.

Mr Sheahan said an unfortunate series of events had conspired to send standards at the restaurant tumbling prior to the August inspection but that a major series of improvements was being carried out in the kitchen.

“The company takes these matters extremely seriously,” he said. “It shouldn't have been the way it was and the restaurant did have plans to redecorate.”

He said the firm had spent £20,000 cleaning, replacing tiles and redecorating.

Helen Williams, chairman of magistrates, said the offences were “extremely seriously”. The firm was fined £3,000 for each count - a total of £15,000.

In addition the restaurant was ordered to pay £3,129.66 in prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

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