A CHINESE restaurant owner put customers “at serious risk” by preparing and storing food in a “filthy” kitchen, a court heard.
Danny Ma, 41, who ran Little Tai Ping on Ledsham Road, Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port, for nine years, was fined £1,440 for food hygiene offences.
He was also ordered to pay £1,189.50 in costs and a £144 victim surcharge, leaving him with a whopping £2,773.50 bill in total.
Sentencing at West Cheshire Magistrates Court, bench chairman John Rooney said: “We do feel it is extremely serious the way you were running your business. You put a lot of people at serious risk.”
Andrew Harrison, prosecuting on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council, outlined four charges faced by Ma under food safety and hygiene laws. They included a “filthy” kitchen, prawn crackers stored in a broken container and overflowing bins in the yard.
An inspector visited the restaurant and takeaway on March 21 and was greeted by the sight of “black grease dripping onto the pavement from an external ventilation duct”, he said.
Ma pleaded guilty to all charges at the hearing on Thursday, March 23, and told the court he had been struggling to keep his business afloat. The once popular restaurant is now closed.
“It was my business and my responsibility,” said Ma, of Cumbrae Drive, Stanney Oaks, Ellesmere Port. “I was more focused on saving the business over the last year and a half.”
Following the hearing, the council’s director of place operations, Maria Byrne, said: “The safety of customers must be the top priority for any food business and food safety officers within our Regulatory Services Team work proactively to help business owners comply with legislation and meet hygiene standards.
“The poor standards in this restaurant could have had serious consequences to customers.
“The vast majority of food establishments in Cheshire West operate to a high standard and serve their customers well. We have a duty to them and to the public to take effective action where others do not make the same effort.”