The owner of a Neston Chinese takeaway has been ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling more than £5,500 for food hygiene offences.
Keung Lau, 63, of Littleton Close, Prenton, Wirral , pleaded guilty to 10 offences under food safety and hygiene legislation committed at The Oriental Flavour, High Street, when he appeared before Chester magistrates on Thursday, September 21.
The court heard that, despite several visits from environmental health officers, the Neston premises remained in a filthy condition with risk of contamination, kitchen equipment in poor condition, cooked rice stored at room temperature for six-and-half hours after it had been cooked and food on sale beyond its expiry date.
Mr Lau was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,447.50, along with a victim surcharge of £120, making a total payable of £5,567.50.
In court, Mr Lau’s solicitors claimed the offences occurred due to personal circumstances following the death of his wife from cancer and having to visit his sick son in China who had suffered a brain haemorrhage.
Mr Lau co-operated during the investigation and made improvements. The premises have since been given a food hygiene rating of 3 – which means ‘generally satisfactory’.
Cllr Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment at Cheshire West and Chester Council , said: “We’re pleased the court recognised the seriousness of these food hygiene breaches. We do understand that people go through difficult times, but hygiene and health must come first.
“To protect the safety of residents and visitors to the borough, we want to work with business owners wherever possible and only use prosecution as a last resort.
“This case highlights the importance of safe food management practices. This is crucial if food businesses are to achieve a level 5 food hygiene rating.
“We hope this sends a clear message to businesses who do not respond to our advice and support; we will take enforcement action if you don’t comply with the law.
“It also serves as a reminder to check food hygiene ratings displayed in food business’ windows or online before eating out. All ratings are published online ."