A restaurant in Swindon has copped a fine of £10,000 after it was exposed for repeatedly breaching food hygiene regulations in its kitchen.
Food preparation practices at The Shanghai Fish Bar fell well below expected standards, while equipment was poorly maintained, according to a case heard at Swindon Magistrates last week.
During a series of inspections last year, food safety officers found there had been a failure to ensure kitchen equipment was cleaned, citing a colander with partly cooked chicken kept next to a chopping board which was mouldy and sticky to the touch.
Green algae and vegetation had been growing on the potato rumbler and chipper, while the chef was seen wearing a dirty and greasy apron while preparing raw and ready to eat foods.
Equipment including temperature probes and food preparation equipment were all found to be dirty with the remnants of food, and cleaning equipment had not been used in some time.
According to the Swindon Advertiser, prosecutor Phil Wirth told the court: “There was no separation of raw and cooked foods, giving rise to a serious risk of cross-contamination. Raw foods including chicken was kept below cleaning products such as washing up liquid.
“The defendant did not appear to understand that high risk foods must be kept below a temperature of eight degrees centigrade."
The court also heard that officers found there was no hand-washing sink in the staff toilet, leaving the workers to clean their hands in the kitchen sink, and there were no disposable towels for sanitation.
During one visit, swabs taken from surfaces, including the kitchen taps, revealed the presence of ecoli and entrobacteria was discovered.
Andrew Eddy, defending, told the court that the owner of the restaurant had not made any profit on the business since 2008 when she took over, with the exception of 2013.
“The staff have now done the relevant training and have certificates. She now hopes nothing of this nature will happen again.
“She apologises and hopes to never find herself in this position, and will work with the local authority to provide food of a significantly high standard to the people of Swindon in the future.”
The takeaway now has a one-star food hygiene rating and will be compelled to work with the council to improve standards, the paper reported.