The owner of a takeaway business has been ordered to pay fines and court costs totalling £8,654 after pleading guilty to a string of food safety offences.

After receiving a complaint from a customer regarding an undercooked Chicken Pot Sticker (a Chinese dumpling), officers from Cornwall Council’s Environmental Health Team made an unannounced visit to Asian Bowls at Brunel Heights, Saltash on October 22 2020.

The Chicken Pot Sticker was sent for testing by a public analyst and was found to contain raw chicken.

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During their visit, the officers found multiple food safety breaches. There was a substantial amount of grease and dirt on surfaces, including the undersides of work surfaces, as well as inside fridges, freezers, cupboards and on light switches. The floor was so encrusted with grease, dirt and food debris that it was dangerously slippery.

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There was dirt and grease dropping into open food in fridges, on work surfaces and shelves. The officers also found high risk foods were not being kept at the required temperature and the staff were not wearing suitable protective clothing.

Due to the conditions and lack of food safety controls, the officers determined that there was an imminent risk to health. The owner, Kai Kuang Chiam, voluntary closed the business and disposed of all food on the premises.

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The business reopened on October 24 following a substantial clean. A Schedule of Works and a Hygiene Improvement Notice were subsequently issued on November 17 2020 with a compliance date of December 20 2020.

The officer revisited the premises in January and found it was cleaner however there was no food safety management system in place, which contravened the Hygiene Improvement Notice. Another visit was made in February and further progress had been made.

In June 2021 the officer visited the premises once again and found conditions had improved and a food safety management system was now in place. As a result of the improvements, the business’ food safety score has improved and the premises is longer deemed a concern by the Council’s Environmental Health team.

In mitigation, Mr Chiam claimed that he ran the front of house and the head chef was responsible for the kitchen area. However, the chef left in September and Mr Chiam accepted he should have ensured that the kitchen was run properly.

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After the first inspection in October 2020, Mr Chiam took control of the kitchen and ensured that it was suitably cleaned so he could reopen the next day.

He continued to make further improvements which was demonstrated by the visit in February. He and his wife both obtained food hygiene qualifications and he now works in the kitchen to ensure the necessary standards are maintained.

Mr Chiam, 48, of Belle Vue Road, Saltash, the sole director of Asian Bowls, pleaded guilty to nine offences.

Mr Chiam, who was given credit for his early guilty pleas, was fined £1,504, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £150 and court costs of £7,000.

Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder for Public Protection at Cornwall Council, said: “It is clear that this business failed to meet the standards required to keep customers safe.

“I am pleased to see that the owner has addressed the issues raised and is working with our Environmental Health officers.

“I hope this case serves as a warning to others. We will not hesitate to take action against businesses that put customers’ health at risk.”