Mouse droppings and filthy kitchen uncovered at Chinese takeaway
PUBLISHED: 07:30 10 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:23 10 December 2019
A takeaway boss has been fined thousands after mouse droppings were discovered near a 'filthy' kitchen where raw meat was being kept at almost twice the required temperature.
Inspectors uncovered a string of hygiene issues at the Mandarin Chinese takeaway following a tip-off complaining of a smell coming from the Cross Street premises in Sudbury.
Xing Ping Chen claimed a customer had threatened to make the call when refused a free meal - and then blamed his son for neglecting to maintain standards in his absence.
Nevertheless, the 43-year-old admitted five counts of contravening or failing to comply with EU provisions for food safety and hygiene - as a company and as a director - before magistrates in Ipswich on Monday.
David Smithet, prosecuting for Babergh District Council, said issues discovered by enforcement officer Jane Gartland on June 19 were dealt with almost immediately.
He said the business was closed at the time of the inspection, but that "significant quantities" of food were deemed likely to spread micro-organism growth or the formation of toxins at temperatures higher than 8C, including chicken found defrosting in 14.4C standing water.
"The kitchen and rear food store were found to be filthy with deposits of grease, fats and dirty hand contact points, while mouse droppings were found in the rear store," added Mr Smithet, who said Chen had been cautioned about similar matters in 2016.
"It became clear from answers to questions that staff had not received adequate training under procedures required to produce safe food.
"Mr Chen admitted all the offences in interview, but said they had occurred because he left his son in charge without sufficient training. He referred to him as lazy and immature."
Chen told the court: "My son was ignorant of keeping the premises clean and I wasn't present to keep an eye on him.
"He wasn't trained - and that's my responsibilty. I know I'm in the wrong and I've tried to rectify it.
"Regarding the complaint, the customer was trying to get a free meal out of me and threatened to call the health inspector.
"I accept my responsibility and I'm now keeping the premises up to standard."
Chen was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,188 in costs, while his company was fined £500.