A CHINESE takeaway was so dirty that a health inspector said it was one of the worst he had ever seen.
Tiger King, in Albert Road, Southsea, was so filthy, that it was immediately closed after the inspection in May last year as it was deemed a risk to customers’ health.
Former owner Daniel Fan has now been banned from owning and running a food business for six months.
The banning order was one of only three used by Portsmouth City Council in recent years.
Tiger King has since reopened but, less than two weeks ago, a re-inspection saw the takeaway given a hygiene rating of just one out of five stars.
At a court hearing last week over the findings at Tiger King, the horrified inspector, who went to the takeaway after a tip-off from a disgruntled customer, said he saw:
· Chicken defrosting in a dirty bucket on the floor.
· Filthy cloths on dirty work surfaces.
· A staff toilet without a seat or hand-washing facilities.
· Food stored on low, dirty shelves near the floor.
· Mouse droppings on the floor.
· Poor building structures which could lead to damp or mice infestation.
Richard Lee, the city council’s environmental health manager, said it was one of the worst hygiene breaches he had seen in 20 years doing the job.
He said: ‘The problems we found at Tiger King were some of the worst we’ve ever encountered. The deterioration in the standards was considerable over a short period of time.
‘The operator was putting the health of his customers at considerable risk and, consequently, I’m pleased with the decision of the court.
‘The decision to ban the operator from running a food business is evidence of just how appalling the conditions were and how he failed to make improvements when required. This is only the third occasion in Portsmouth that such powers have been used.’
Prosecuting for Portsmouth City Council, Tory Putnam said: ‘The environmental health inspector said it was one of the worst premises he has ever seen, if not the worst, in his 20-year career.’
After meeting some of the necessary requirements from the initial inspection, Tiger King reopened last summer.
But at the re-inspection on February 13, it was given just one star for hygiene.
Inspectors found some improvements but there was chicken, rice and noodles left at room temperature with the staff not knowing how long they had been out. There were also no hand-drying facilities for the staff.
Fan appeared before Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to five offences relating to food hygiene after the inspection in May last year.
He was fined £5,000 and had to pay £1,253 in court costs.
Magistrate Avril Hardie said: ‘There were a number of offences and the number of, nature and extent of the offences makes us feel like the hygiene prohibition order is justified along with the fines.’
A statement from the city council said: ‘Tiger King can continue to operate if another food business operator registers with us and takes proper responsibility for food safety management in the business.
‘In view of the history, the premises will continue to be monitored and any further legal contraventions noted with be dealt with in accordance with our enforcement policy.’