‘Disaster’ takeaway owner fined

THE owner of a Chinese takeaway described as a “disaster waiting to happen”, has been prosecuted. 

Kwok Lee, 52, ran the Jade Garden takeaway on Huddersfield Road, in Roberttown, for 10 years. It was consistently given a food hygiene rating of just one out of five.

Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard that council officers closed the premises until improvements were made.

Inspectors found mouse droppings within minutes of their arrival, despite Lee claiming there were no pests on the premises.

He admitted 12 food hygiene breaches.

After being served with an improvement notice in November, 2013, the premises received a food hygiene rating of one out of five the following year. Then when health officials visited in December, 2015, things had deteriorated further.

Hamza Soren, prosecuting for Kirklees Council, told the court: “There were unsatisfactory conditions. Cooked rice in a large bowl was kept at 13 degrees when it must be kept below eight degrees. Areas required cleaning and there was no hand-wash. Prepared food was also being defrosted close to the floor.”

Lee was interviewed under caution and “flippantly claimed” that no-one had been taken ill and that conditions weren’t that bad.

Inspectors visited again three months later and, despite assurances from Lee, no evidence of any improvements had been found.

Mr Soren said: “A pest control company was instructed and confirmed that there was an active mouse infestation. A nest was in the meter box under the microwave in the kitchen. Food was supposed to be covered at the end of service but a packet of chips had been left open.

“This gave the officer no confidence that Mr Lee was taking the matter seriously and taking the urgent action required.”

Lee agreed to close the takeaway so it could be cleaned and pest-proofed.  But despite getting rid of the mice, the premises had not improved by January of this year and Lee was issued with another hygiene improvement notice.

Mr Soren said: “This is a disaster waiting to happen and he’s very fortunate that nobody has become ill.

'The council has real concerns that he will never get his house in order despite repeated inspections and orders.”

Magistrates fined Lee £2,782 and ordered him to pay prosecution costs.

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