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Chinese takeaway fined for hygiene failures including rodent infestation

THE Aberfan Chinese takeaway in Merthyr Tydfil was found to be operating in poor hygiene conditions and ordered to close due to a rodent infestation.

The Council’s Environmental Health Department received a complaint from a concerned member of the public who had spotted rats in the rear yard of the food business. An unannounced inspection carried out by an Environmental Health Officer on 4 August 2021 identified immediate hygiene concerns within the business.

The kitchen was dirty, food was being exposed to contamination and there was clear evidence of a rodent nest within the storeroom where food ingredients were being stored. The Inspector found serious defects within the structure of the premises which allowed rodents to enter with ease and a bag of poison had been thrown on the floor hoping that this would deal with the problem. It was clear that this issue had been ongoing for a long period of time and the business owner failed to deal with the issue properly.

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Given the unacceptable conditions, the Inspector served a legal notice to formally close the business until improvements were made and the business was issued a Food Hygiene Rating of 0 which is the lowest score that can be given.

The Food Business Operator, Mrs Xia Hui Xiao attended Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates Court on 26January 2022 and pleaded guilty to all nine charges of breaching food hygiene regulations.

The business owner was fined a total of £1600 and ordered to pay costs of £697.50 and a victim surcharge of £160.

Cllr. Geraint Thomas, Deputy Leader with Portfolio for Regeneration, Transformation and Commercialisation, said:

“This case demonstrates that our Environmental Health Officers will take swift and necessary action to protect public health when there are clear failures within a food business that put customers at risk.

It is essential that proprietors of food businesses comply with food hygiene regulations. The COVID-19 pandemic should not be used as an excuse by Food Business Operators to allow their hygiene standards to slip.

I would urge all consumers to check the Food Hygiene Rating of a food establishment before they consider eating from there. It is a legal requirement for ratings to be displayed in Wales to help consumers make informed choices.”

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