Landmark York restaurant fined £10K after inspectors find filthy fittings, woodworm – and no soap

One of the pictures taken by York food hygiene officers inside the Regency
15 Aug 2018 @ 5.45 pm
| News

The sink and fridge were mouldy and dirty, staff had no soap and a bamboo steamer was riddled with woodworm.

Now these failings, discovered on an unannounced inspection by food hygiene inspectors, have landed the owners of a landmark York restaurant with a bill for more than £10,000.


The inspectors called at the Regency Restaurant at 16 Barbican Road on January 3. They uncovered a series of hygiene failings, including:

  • poor levels of cleanliness and repair throughout the restaurant
  • dirty and/or mouldy ceilings, shelves, shelf supports, sockets, glass wash machine and trays, sink, window frame, door frame, fridge handles and light switches
  • a dirty and littered area around the refuse bins in the rear yard
  • the soft drink dispenser in the bar, can opener, metal steaming rings, bamboo steamers and meat cleaver all dirty.

No soap or towels

A dirty sink inside the Regency

One bamboo steamer even had woodworm. All of the hand wash basins were dirty or lacking in facilities required for washing and drying hands.

And the kitchen hand wash basin and dim sum wash basin had no soap or towels.

Another inspection took place on March 1, York Magistrates’ Court heard.

A filthy light switch in the retaurant

But the standards had not improved from the previous visit, and because the required measures weren’t put in place to protect public health, action was taken.

The legal action taken was against China Regency Ltd and Ms Xiu Lan Chen, 41, the director of the company, of Barbican Road York.

Although Ms Chen’s company, China Regency Ltd, only took over the restaurant around November 2017, she had previously operated the same premises in 2014 under the name Chang Le York.

Cleaned up

The Regency restaurant on Barbican Road. Photograph © Google Street View
In mitigation, the court heard how Ms Chen trusted the managers too much and she accepted neglecting the restaurant.

Ms Chen also brought photos of the cleaned equipment on her phone which were viewed by the magistrates.

The bench reminded her that her responsibilities are great when running food premises and should expect to be dealt with harshly when the responsibilities aren’t met.

York magistrates ordered Ms Chen to pay a £540 fine and a £54 court surcharge. The limited company was ordered to pay an £8,000 fine, £170 court surcharge and £1,906.63 in costs – a total of £10,670.63.

Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment, said:

  • York offers many very good food premises and we want customers from the city and beyond to be confident in the quality of all the restaurants and takeaways they visit.

    Thanks to our food hygiene team’s vigilance, these issues have been identified and customers protected.

You can report concerns to [email protected].

Advice on food hygiene is available on the City of York Council website.

Any businesses wanting tailored advice and guidance can call the council on (01904) 551525.