"Back yard kitchen" guilty

By on 06/08/2010 in News
Red N Hot on Hurst Street

Red N Hot on Hurst Street

A Chinese restaurant that used the back yard of the premises to store and prepare food has today been sentenced at Birmingham Magistrates Court.

Red N Hot Limited were found guilty of 1 offence relating to the insanitary condition of Red N Hot, 35 Hurst Street, Birmingham, where open food was stored in the yard area and mouse droppings were found close to ready to eat foods.

They were fined £400, plus £930 costs.

chilli sauce being kept next to a mop bucket

chilli sauce being kept next to a mop bucket

Following a complaint that the restaurant’s back yard was being used for food storage and preparation, Environmental Health Officers from Birmingham City Council visited the restaurant on 20th July 2009.

Officers were shocked to find the back yard being used as a “kitchen”, with food being both stored and prepared outside.
 
A home made cupboard ran the length of the yard and acted as a makeshift larder, containing food equipment, such as chopping boards in a filthy state, as well as food stuffs in varying states of preparation and decay.

debris in the yard of the Red N Hot

debris in the yard of the Red N Hot

Doors were missing from the cupboard, and mouldy food, and mouldy shelves were in contact with ready-to-eat foods such as mooli (chinese radish) and sweet peppers sharing the same shelves as mouse droppings.

Pots of chilli sauce were being kept out on the floor, right next to a dirty mop and bucket containing filthy water.

Officers removed a number of items from the yard, including a chilli pepper that had been gnawed by mice and a deeply scored chopping board that was covered in mould.

mouse trap and debris

mouse trap and debris

As this constituted an imminent risk of injury to health, Officers served an Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice, and closed the back yard.

A return visit showed that the back yard had been cleaned and emptied of food equipment and food stuffs.

Once I gained access to the rear yard I found a long cupboard with some doors missing, containing food, food equipment and other items in a filthy and dirty state.

filthy shelves in cupboard used to store food and equipment

filthy shelves in cupboard used to store food and equipment

Councillor Neil Eustace, Chair of the Public Protection Committee at Birmingham City Council, said:

“A back yard is wholly unsuitable for storing food and preparing food, as it is entirely open both to the elements and to rodents.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Hayley Meachin on 0121 303 1271/ 07920 750007  hayley.meachin@birmingham.gov.uk

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