A takeaway boss has been fined after health inspectors found unhygienic conditions so bad that the premises had to be shut.
Portsmouth City Council inspectors took photographic evidence of what they found at the Family House, a Chinese takeaway in Jessie Road, Southsea, including rat droppings.
Boon Ann Goh, 59, of Sudley Gardens, Bognor, operator of Family House, admitted eight breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations. He was fined £3,500 by city magistrates and told to pay £1,394 in costs and victim surcharge.
The council said that an unannounced inspection last July revealed extremely poor hygiene standards and that previous advice from the council had not been followed.
Council officers gave evidence that there was dirt, grease and food debris in many areas where food was being handled and stored. Hand washing facilities were not being maintained. There was evidence of rat activity in the rear food storage area.
Magistrates were told that the council’s inspector judged there was an imminent health risk and an immediate voluntary closure of the takeaway was agreed.
The premises were cleaned and disinfected, and proofed against rats. A pest control visit was made. The business was allowed to reopen in August.
The council’s evidence was that Boon Ann Goh had attempted to improve his business after previous inspections but had then failed to manage it effectively.
Cllr Robert New, the council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, said: “We have worked hard with the business to try to ensure they keep up food safety standards. However, they failed to follow advice and let standards slide. For the protection of the public we had to take legal action.”