Takeaway owner fined after inspectors find rats in the kitchen

A dirty work range at Fortunes Chinese Takeaway in Wallsend.
A dirty work range at Fortunes Chinese Takeaway in Wallsend.

A Chinese takeaway has been fined after inspectors found rat droppings in the kitchen and a string of other food safety and hygiene offences.

Environmental health officers visited Fortune’s Chinese Takeaway, in High Street West, Wallsend, for a routine inspection on July 8, 2015, and were shocked at their findings.

A hole in the wall, with chewed plastic, at Fortunes Chinese Takeaway in Wallsend.

A hole in the wall, with chewed plastic, at Fortunes Chinese Takeaway in Wallsend.

The inspector found a string of issues at the establishment.

Inadequate procedures had been put in place for the control of pests, leading to rat droppings being found on the floor, fixtures and equipment.

In addition, rats had chewed door frames and caused holes in walls and skirting boards. A plastic basket, which appeared to have been pushed up against one of the wall holes in an attempt to block it, itself had a hole gnawed through it.

There were also grease smears on a wall from where rats had been climbing a door leading to a staff toilet.

The inspector also found dirty surfaces and equipment as well as no satisfactory cleaning procedures or systems in place.

The business was temporarily closed to enable immediate action to be taken to address the rat activity and for the premises to be cleaned. It was allowed to reopen two days later.

North Tyneside Magistrates Court heard how as well as the problems with rats there was a dirty kitchen and inadequate cleaning processes.

Operator Ming Li, 43, of Lynn Road, Wallsend, admitted four offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations.

He was fined £1,000 with £175 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.

Following a further inspection on February 3, 2016, the premises remains open for business and the environmental health team is continuing to work with the operator to improve standards.

Speaking after the case, Coun John Harrison, cabinet member for Housing and Transport, said: “We are committed to supporting local businesses.

“However, when there are unacceptable risks to public health, enforcement action will be taken to protect the interests of consumers and maintain food safety.”

North Tyneside Council’s environmental health service is delivered on behalf of the local authority by its partner Capita.