The owner of a restaurant has been hit with a financial penalty after environmental health inspectors found the decomposing body of a dead mouse on his premises.
Wing Cheung's China Garden was visited by a team of experts in April this year and they discovered a number of breaches of food hygiene regulations, reports the East Anglian Daily Times. Mr Cheung must now pay £5,000 in fines and costs as a result of the offences.
Inspectors were immediately concerned that food safety standards were not being met at the eatery in Hadleigh. A failure to keep the restaurant clean and a lack of protection against rodents were just two of the issues uncovered.
Mr Cheung has now pleaded guilty to five offences under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006. He suggested that the primary cause of the breaches of hygiene rules was the fact he spent so much time away from the restaurant.
Babergh District Council's senior food and safety officer Emma Richbell said: "Unfortunately China Garden has had a poor history of compliance with food hygiene legislation and Mr Cheung has continually ignored advice given to him by officers of this department, so when we found the breaches on the April 4th we had no option but to prosecute."
Among the issues that were found at China Garden were a hole in the wall of the food storage room, spillages that had not been cleared away and various items of food that had been left without cover, meaning they could have been contaminated.
The environmental chiefs also discovered that there had been no effort made to separate ready to eat foods and raw products. This meant that customers always faced the possibility of food poisoning.
Some of the offences committed at China Garden and by Mr Cheung could illustrate the importance of following the necessary regulations at all times while working in the food trade. Failure to do so can lead not only to ill health, but also the possibility of fines and other punishments being levelled at a business.