09:00AM, Wednesday 16 April 2014
A Chinese restaurant in Windsor where rat droppings were found has been fined £4,000 for breaching food hygiene regulations.
Nell Gwyn Chinese Restaurant, in Church Street, was visited by Royal Borough food hygiene officers on March 7, 2013, after rat droppings were found on basement steps where food containers were stored.
Business director, Zheng Zhuang, appeared at Reading Magistrates' Court today where he pleaded guilty to charges of failing to keep the food premises clean, failing to keep the layout of the food premises to good food hygiene practices, failing to protect food against contamination, failing to have adequate procedures in place to control pests, and failing to put in place a permanent procedure based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.
Representing the Royal Borough, Katie Hamill said: "Several customers reported seeing rats and rat droppings were discovered. The vents were rusty and the pipes were dirty."
Food hygiene officers had visited the restaurant on a number of occasions and had issued a report containing concerns about the cleanliness of the restaurant, food safety and inadequacies in staff training.
Pest control had also visited the restaurant and gave advice to Zhuang to fix a hole in the kitchen wall and two holes in the basement, where the rats had entered the building.
It was deemed that there was imminent risk to health and the restaurant was voluntary closed down but re-opened six days later after it had been cleaned.
Jo Morris, representing Zhuang, said her client believed the rats were emanating from elsewhere but accepted that the cleanliness of the restaurant had been unacceptable.
She added that Zhuang had spent £3,500 on making improvements to the restaurant and had ‘learnt his lesson’.
Sentencing, Magistrate Nicola Buchanan-Dunlop said: "This was a serious breach which went on for a number of months but we understand measures have been taken to make it right."
She ordered Zhuang to pay £100 for each of the five charges and a statutory surcharge of £50.
The business was ordered to pay a sum of £1,500, £500 for each of the five charges and a statutory surcharge of £250, totalling £4,250.
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