Bosses at a takeaway in Sedgley have landed a court bill of more than £6,000 after inspectors found rat droppings and a string of other hygiene risks.
Yummy Wok takeaway in Dudley Street, Sedgley, had a series of issues including rat droppings in the food store, holes in the store room roof and dirty or damaged equipment.
The business was prosecuted by Dudley Council at Wolverhampton magistrates on August 29 for 12 offences under food safety and hygiene regulations.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care
The court heard how council environmental health officers carried out an inspection of the takeaway in May 2018 and found a string of problems including old rat droppings, mould growth on a wall in a preparation room, holes in a store room roof and dirty and damaged food preparation equipment.
They also discovered a hand wash basin, used by food handlers, that was based in a toilet and was also dirty. A wash hand basin in the kitchen was being used to store food containers and had no soap or means of hand drying. A container of raw chicken was stored next to milk in the refrigerator. Rubbish had not been placed in appropriate containers.
Food business operator Bao Yu Chen (59) pleaded guilty to 12 offences under food safety and hygiene regulations including failing to keep premises and equipment clean and in good order and repair, failing to implement adequate procedures to control pests and failing to store refuse in closable containers. He also pleaded guilty to failing to register the food business with the council.
The court heard that a rating of just ‘one’ was given at the inspection but that considerable improvements had been carried out within 24 hours of the inspection. Chen, of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, no longer runs the business.
Chen was fined £3,840 and ordered to pay Dudley Council costs of £2,470.80 along with a victim surcharge of £170.
The takeaway is now registered under a new owner not connected to the case and currently has a satisfactory hygiene rating of ‘three’.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:
Pest infestations at food businesses pose a serious risk to the health of customers.
Our officers prefer to work with businesses to secure compliance but in the case of Yummy Wok, the food business proprietor had failed to register the business as required by law.
People need to be aware that if they take over the running of a food business from someone else, even if it was previously registered, the new proprietor must re-apply for registration, which is a free service, and in doing so will be afforded the appropriate advice and guidance necessary to operate a safe business.
Over half of all food outlets in the Dudley borough are achieving the top hygiene rating of five and the vast majority achieve a satisfactory rating of three or more. I would urge consumers to check out hygiene ratings online as these will give consumers a glimpse of what is going on in the kitchen when they eat out, or behind the scenes at the places they shop.”
Dudley Council environmental health officers carry out regular inspections of food premises in the borough to advise food business owners and ensure they meet all food safety and hygiene requirements.