Stansted takeaway fined for poor hygiene
- Credit: Archant
A Stansted takeaway has been ordered to pay almost £3,000 in fines and costs for failing to meet food safety hygiene standards.
Lams Chinese Takeaway, in Station Road, has continually failed to make improvements despite a number of inspections and ongoing offer of support by Uttlesford District Council’s environmental health officers.
At Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Thursday, October 8,the takeaway owner, Wei Chen, pleaded guilty to four charges of breaching the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulation 2013 and the Food Safety Act 1990. In addition to a £1,000 fine, Mr Chen was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100, council costs of £1609.45 and a court charge of £180.
The prosecution comes after the takeaway scored low marks in the Food Hygiene Rating System (FHRS). This is a national scheme developed by the Food Standards Agency which provides information on food hygiene standards to help people to choose where to eat out or shop for food.
Ratings are awarded from a minimum of zero up to a maximum of five with a zero signifying that urgent improvement is necessary.
Considerable time has been spent at Lams Takeaway by environmental health officers who have advised the owner of the improvements required. However, since 2012 the business has never managed to achieve a FHRS rating greater than two (“improvement necessary”), the court heard and is currently rated as one (“major improvement necessary”).
Councillor Susan Barker, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, said: “When we go out for any meal or order a takeaway we should be confident that the food we purchase is prepared under hygienic conditions. Unfortunately Lams Takeaway in Stansted fell short.
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“Having to bring cases such as this to court is generally as a last resort, but Uttlesford residents can feel reassured our environmental health officers regularly inspect local food businesses to check the standards of food preparation and cleanliness do not cause any health risks.
“If significant food safety issues continue to be identified during future inspections the council will consider further prosecution and, if convicted, may consider making an application to the court for the owner to be prohibited from managing any food business in the future.”
The council is currently running a 12-month campaign to drive up food safety and hygiene standards across the district. The Zero to Two Project aims to bring all food business outlets up to a minimum rating of three (“generally satisfactory”).
The council would always strongly recommend people check the hygiene rating of a food business before they eat there. There is an app for mobile phones. Visit www.ratings.food.gov.uk for more details.