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Dead mouse and sewage found at E-Pan Chinese restaurant, Skipton
11:37am Thursday 23rd August 2012 in News
An environmental health officer revealed how she was confronted by a dead mouse in a trap, raw sewage on the kitchen floor and a build-up of waste food and fat in a Chinese restaurant in Skipton .
Closer inspection unearthed mouse bait with poison next to a cooking range, food waste and grease on a cooking range which had not been cleaned for days and Wellington boots covered with fat, grease and sewage.
When Sharon Lord looked outside the E-Pan restaurant in Swadford Street, she saw overflowing fat and sewage from the drains in a side alley, sewage and grease overflowing into the kitchen and a drain pipe from the kitchen blocked with fat.
Craven District Council solicitor Annette Moppett told Skipton magistrates that an emergency prohibition order had been imposed on the restaurant immediately after Miss Lord had inspected the premises last Tuesday, August 14.
Under the Food Safety Act 1990, the order had to be confirmed by magistrates within three days of it being imposed.
Miss Lord informed the bench that environmental health officers had been alerted to the problem following a complaint about a blocked sewer and the need to get into the restaurant.
“With evidence of rodents running on surfaces, sewage on the kitchen floor and the risk of contamination of food, in my judgment the place was injurious to health and the premises must be closed and a prohibition notice served,” she said.
Restaurant owner Tin Po Lee said the blocked drain problem had arisen on the Sunday before and he been trying to unblock it. He believed it was best to sort out the problem before cleaning the kitchen.
He said when he left on the Sunday evening, there had been no evidence of sewage on the premises. Later he had called in a drainage expert who found that a problem in a manhole on the premises was caused by stones and not fat.
The rodent issue had occurred because a nearby building, which had been unused for two years, had just been re-opened and rats were coming from that area. A hole where they had been getting into the restaurant had been blocked up.
Magistrates told Mr Lee they were satisfied that Craven Council had made the right decision in issuing an emergency order because there was a risk to health.
It would remain in force until environmental health officers believed the restaurant was fit for use and ordered Mr Lee to pay £160 costs.