Successful prosecution sees takeaway owner banned from managing food businesses

A business owner whose Chinese takeaway was infested with rats has been banned by the Magistrates from participating in the management of any food business.

Mr Yun Chen, owner of the Riverbank Chinese Takeaway in Ilchester, pleaded guilty to three food hygiene offence charges in court which were bought against him by South Somerset District Council.

In January 2017, Environmental Health Officers received a complaint of rat droppings on the window sill at the premises. Officers visited the site the same day and the complaint was justified.

Upon visiting, an infestation of rats was found in the store room with food stock including rice and sugar being attacked by the rodents.

On Wednesday 21 March, the Magistrates found Mr Chen guilty to the three food offence charges and ordered him to pay £760 per offence, a victim surcharge of £76 and awarded the Council full costs of £1,047.50.

Due to the very poor maintenance of hygiene standards following the infestation, South Somerset District Council's Environmental Health team felt it appropriate to apply for a hygiene prohibition order to be issued against Mr Chen.

Upon hearing the case history, the Magistrates felt it proper to make this order and banned Mr Chen from participating in the management of any food business. The order is not time limited and Mr Chen will need to apply to the court if he wishes for the ban to be lifted.

Councillor Val Keitch, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health at South Somerset District Council said, "Our Environmental Health team work very hard to support businesses with advice and assistance, but where this is not acted upon, we have no hesitation to take action where appropriate to secure the health of the public throughout the district".

To find out more about food safety and the work of the Environmental Health team, or to report a food safety problem, visit www.southsomerset.gov.uk/food.