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Chinese takeaway in Sudbury and tea room in Lavenham fined thousands of pounds for food hygiene offences

A Chinese takeaway in Sudbury has been fined thousands of pounds, after a slew of food hygiene breaches were discovered on the premises earlier this year.

Food and safety officers at Babergh District Council investigated Mandarin, in Cross Street, on June 19, following odour complaints. They found a filthy kitchen, mouse droppings in the storage area and large quantities of food left out at room temperature.

The inspection also determined that staff at the restaurant, which had been cautioned for similar offences in 2016, did not have training on food safety requirements, and that the business had failed to implement a food safety management system.

Ipswich Magistrates Court (24114279)
Ipswich Magistrates Court (24114279)

At Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Monday, restaurant owner Xing Ping Chen, who runs Mandarin 15 Ltd, pleaded guilty to five food hygiene offences.

Chen was ordered to pay a total of £2,500, while the company was also fined £500 for the offences.

In addition, magistrates awarded Babergh District Council the full costs of £2,188.

On the same day, a tea room in Lavenham admitted two food safety offences, relating to an inspection by the authority that took place on May 24.

Everyl Madell, of Munnings Tea Rooms, was handed a fine of £1,300, plus an £80 surcharge for placing unsafe food on the market and failing to implement a food safety management system following a routine inspection.

The district council was also awarded total costs of £1,500.

It comes after officers visited the business in Hall Road and found mouldy soup, out-of-date food, inadequate hand wash facilities and a failure to proof the premises against pests.

Ipswich Magistrates’ Court ruled that the offences committed by both Mandarin in Sudbury and Munnings Tea Rooms in Lavenham demonstrated “high culpability and category 2 harm”.

David Smithet, who prosecuted the two cases on behalf of Babergh District Council, said that, in both instances, the businesses had previously been given a simple caution for similar offences three years ago, and the authority had taken formal action after no improvements were made.

In the Mandarin case, Mr Smithet stated owner Xing Ping Chen had opened another food premises outside of East Anglia, following the restaurant’s last inspection in 2016, and had left his son, whom he knew was not adequately trained, to take over the running of the Sudbury takeaway.

Cassandra Clements, assistant director for environment and commercial partnerships and Babergh District Council, said: “Our officers work hard to keep the public safe when eating out – so this is a great result.

“We take a graduated enforcement approach, supporting our food businesses with advice and guidance, with prosecution being the last resort.

“This shows the importance of food hygiene ratings in ensuring our community can make an informed decision when eating out in the district.”

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