A London Vietnamese restaurant has been fined more than £5,000 after rodent faeces were found in the food.
The Chung Viet restaurant in Deptford High Street was prosecuted after Lewisham Council's Environmental Health Food Safety team also discovered the premises to be infested with mice and cockroaches, and filthy conditions in the kitchen, food and preparation, and food storage areas. Some food was also found to have been gnawed by rodents.
Restaurant owner Chun Van Hoang was prosecuted after repeated instances of non-compliance with food hygiene regulations. During a food hygiene inspection in 2010, food safety officers were forced to take emergency action and closed the business until remedial works were completed to address the substantial cleaning, disinfection and pest control.
Other breaches included staff smoking in the kitchen, inadequate levels of food hygiene training and inadequate documentation about the food safety management systems in place.
Councillor Susan Wise, cabinet member for customer services, said that businesses supplying food to the public had a responsibility to provide food that was fit for human consumption and prepared in a safe, clean environment.
"Where businesses fail to do so we will take action," she said. "This can include closure and, in some instances criminal prosecution where serious breaches of the regulations have occurred."
Chun Van Hoang pleaded guilty to seven offences at Greenwich Magistrates Court on 16 February 2011. In total he was fined £5,258 including costs, and ordered to pay back £350 a month.
By Janie Stamford
E-mail your comments to Janie Stamford here.
If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.caterersearch.com/tabletalk
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Caterersearch.com jobs