LARGE numbers of mouse droppings and a live lobster in a washing up bowl have cost a Chinese restaurant thousands in a fine.
Good Fortune, in High Street, Old Portsmouth, was hauled into court where it was revealed it has been in ‘steady decline’ for the last few years despite hygiene warnings from Portsmouth City Council.
An inspector found droppings in the kitchen, restaurant, the bar and store rooms on July 15, a court heard.
Jenny Ager, prosecuting, said some food was being stored on the floor, a dirty cloth was being used to clean up spills and cucumber was found next to a chopping board used to cut up raw meat.
Shockingly a live lobster was being kept in a washing up bowl on the drainer.
And a black bin liner filled with grease was found at the end of extractor fan ducting from the kitchen.
A toilet door, which opened into the kitchen, was being held open by a mop bucket.
The staff and customer toilets were in disrepair, and while the firm had a food safety management system in place cleaning and maintenance was not followed.
Company director Chong Jun Zhang, 43, did not have food hazard training, and neither did staff.
He told the inspector he had no idea there was a mouse infestation, but said pest control had visited five days before the inspection.
Zhang, of Welch Road, Gosport yesterday admitted nine counts of breaching EU Hygiene Regulations.
He admitted the same counts on behalf of the company Good Fortune Restaurant Ltd, of High Street, Old Portsmouth, of which he is director.
One related to a fan blocking the only sink in the kitchen, meaning workers were not washing their hands.
Chairman of the bench at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court, Sian Bamber, fined the company £4,000 one one charge with £600 vosts and a £120 victim surcharge.
Zhang himself was fined £300 with one charge, with a £30 victim surcharge and £150 costs.
No separate penalties were imposed on the other charges.
Ms Ager said the restaurant was inspected on July 15 after a tip-off from someone picking up a takeaway who saw a mouse.
The restaurant had been voluntarily closed on the day but was re-opened on July 20.
She added: ‘The premises has a history of poor hygiene, poor structure and poor confidence in management since Mr Zhang took over the business.’
Two previous inspections had taken place in 2013 and 2014, which resulted in hygiene ratings of two and then one, she said.
Improvements have since been made and the restaurant has a hygiene rating of three.
Laura Jenking-Rees, for Zhang, said he had become a father and admitted he had ‘taken his eye off the ball’.
‘He is deeply, deeply, sorry.’ she said, adding he has since invested in cleaning up.