Two York restaurants fined a total of £14K for hygiene offences – pix

This is what inspectors found at the Hong Kong Chop House on Swinegate, York. Photographs: City of York Council
28 Aug 2018 @ 8.47 pm
| News

The York crackdown on unhygienic food businesses saw two more restaurants in court.

A variety of food hygiene failures, including storing flour and rice in uncovered containers, were discovered by City of York Council’s food hygiene officers on recent visits.

Two businesses were prosecuted at York Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (August 28) for failings that put public health at risk.

The first was Hong Kong Chop House at 33 Swinegate.

Food hygiene inspections last September and October found

  • poor cleanliness and repair
  • some food contamination issues
  • risk of cross contamination
  • failures in food safety management
  • and failure to comply with five hygiene improvement notices.

Risk of contamination

The full picture shows restricted access to the sink and uncovered raw meat at Hong Kong Chop House
Inspectors found containers without lids were being used to store food including raw chicken, flour and rice, putting them at risk of contamination.

The hand wash basin for food handlers in the kitchen was obstructed by a dustbin making it difficult to access or use. There was also poor hand washing, which risked cross contamination of foods.

The sink used for washing equipment and utensils was not disinfected between uses, and there was no disinfection of work surfaces as there was no sanitiser available.

Hong Kong Chop House on Swinegate. Photograph © Google Street View
As a result the Hong Kong Chop House was given a food hygiene rating scheme score of 1. This followed a succession of poor food safety compliance dating back to 2014.

The case was against Infinity Hardheadedness Ltd and Di Wu, the director of the company, aged 34 of Walney Road, York.

In mitigation, the court heard that the standards of cleaning slipped due to the busy kitchen, and that Mr Wu failed to notice the problem over time.

York Magistrates ordered the company to pay a fine of £7,500 and costs of £1,725.46. Mr Wu was fined £1,280, costs of £1,000 and a court surcharge of £100 (a total of £11,605.46).

Grease and food deposits

A sink plug and chain covered in grease at Saffron Tandoori Spice in Acomb
The second York business in court was Saffron Tandoori Spice, based at Unit 3 Acomb Wood Shopping Centre, Acomb Wood Drive.

Legal action followed visits in November and January. These found that premises and equipment were poor. Inspectors found:

  • a dirty light switch and pull chord
  • a dirty hand wash basin for food handlers
  • and the basin plug and chain were both encased with grease and food deposits
  • food storage containers had old deposits attached due to inadequate washing
  • and there was a significant build up dirt around the kitchen doorframe.
A dirty doorframe at Saffron Spice
More Saffron Spice grime, on a light switch

The owner of Saffron Tandoori Spice, Thuhel Ahmed, 41, of Cowper Street, Leeds, pleaded guilty to the two offences. The court heard that he had always tried his best to comply but the offences arose.

He was fined £660 and ordered to pay a court surcharge of £66 and costs of £2,000 (a total of £2,726).

A City of York Council spokesman 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.

Residents can report concerns about a food premises via [email protected].

Advice on food hygiene is available on the council website and any businesses wanting tailored advice and guidance should call (01904) 551525.