A CHINESE restaurant has been slapped with a zero out of five hygiene rating after mouse droppings were found in the storeroom.
The Hong Kong chef, on London Road, Rayleigh, received the lowest possible rating from the Food Standards Agency after an inspection by Rochford District Council on December 20 found the restaurant needed urgent improvements .
All three areas judged, including hygienic food handling, cleanliness and condition of facilities and buildings, and food safety management, were deemed to require major improvement.
The restaurant offered no explanation for the results, despite being contacted several times by the Echo.
Notes taken by the inspector during the search showed that mouse droppings had been found in a storeroom out back, while staff were deemed “unfamiliar” with safe work practices.
The same aprons were used for handling raw and cooked food, large amounts of food were left at room temperature while dirt was found in air filters and the microwave.
Structurally, the building was sound, but grease and debris from the ceiling were found on the kitchen floor.
The restaurant also did not maintain a journal or monitoring register, with some documents not being complete for over a year.
Inspectors noted a potential reason why “mouse activity” spotted the rear tilt on the store created a gap at the base of the door. They said it was “easy access for pests”.
They also mentioned that although there was a full table of kitchen allergens, awareness of this was low.
Council staff have since revisited the site and said Hong Kong Chief no longer poses a public health threat.
A spokesperson for Rayleigh District Council said: “A further visit has been carried out by council and all imminent public health risks have been addressed.
“In accordance with the requirements of food standards agencies, premises will retain their score until they request a new score or are subject to a next inspection. So far, the premises have not requested a reassessment visit.
Despite the poor standards, diners seem to enjoy the service with all 11 reviews on the restaurant’s Facebook page giving five out of five stars.