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Neston Take-Away Owner Fined for Food Hygiene Offences

Published: 27th September 2017 08:40

The owner of a takeaway business in Neston has been ordered to pay a fine and costs totalling £5,567.50 for food hygiene offences.

Oriental FlavourOriental Flavour in Neston High Street

Mr Keung Lau (63), of Littleton Close, Prenton, Wirral pleaded guilty to 10 offences, under food safety and hygiene legislation committed at The Oriental Flavour, High Street, Neston at West Cheshire Magistrates' Court on Thursday 21 September 2017.

The court heard that, despite several visits from Environmental Health and Regulatory Services officers, the Neston premises remained in a filthy condition with risk of contamination, kitchen equipment in poor condition, cooked rice stored at room temperature for six and half hours after it had been cooked and food on sale beyond its expiry date.

Mr Lau was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,447.50 along with a victim surcharge of £120, making a total payable of £5,567.50.

In court Mr Lau's solicitors explained that the offences occurred due to personal circumstances, namely, the impact of the death of his wife from cancer, and having to visit his son who was ill in China, after suffering a brain haemorrhage. Mr Lau co-operated during the investigation and made improvements. The premises have since been given a food hygiene rating of 3 - generally satisfactory.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Karen Shore said: "We are pleased the court recognised the seriousness of these food hygiene breaches. We do understand that people go through difficult times, but hygiene and health must come first.

"To protect the safety of residents and visitors to the borough, we want to work with business owners wherever possible and only use prosecution as a last resort.

"This case highlights the importance of safe food management practices - this is crucial if food businesses are to achieve a level 5 food hygiene rating.

"We hope this sends a clear message to businesses who do not respond to our advice and support; we will take enforcement action if you don't comply with the law.

"It also serves as a reminder to check food hygiene ratings displayed in food business' windows or online before eating out. All ratings are published online at: http://ratings.food.gov.uk/."

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stan e
At 20:46 on 27th September 2017, stan e commented:
Shocking to read that environmental officers visited the takeaway and found the premises in a filthy condition! Might explain why I felt ill after eating a portion of chips from this takeaway shortly before they visited.
CO Jones
At 21:31 on 28th September 2017, CO Jones commented:
I would guess i must have ate food from Ivan's over a hundred times and never "felt ill"

Balance restored. Special Kung Po is the dogs proverbials
At 00:19 on 29th September 2017, Dan commented:
Its bad enough to hear that on the initial inspection they found problems but that the owner or staff did nothing about this to the point it was taken to court is dreadful.

The owner claims mitigating circumstances but what about the guy that runs it and all the other staff. The "Chef" who left the rice out for over 6 hours, the staff there knowingly preparing out of date food.

Sorry but they just lost several regular customers.

As for Special Kung Po being the dogs proverbials, from that inspection its likely there are a few dogs proverbials in it !
CO Jones
At 17:38 on 29th September 2017, CO Jones commented:
I am still struggling to see the negatives.

Authentic cuisine and reduced queues.

I have to assume that those who would stay away are not that widely travelled and if they are, they avoid street food markets.

I am not trying to trivialise the issue by but just put things in perspective.

Don't forget that our over sanitised lifestyles in the Western World are widely understood to create as many health issues as anything else. Those adverts with kitchens that look like operating theatres. Ridiculous.
At 18:22 on 29th September 2017, Dan commented:
Are you being Serious CO Jones ?

This isn't a single visit failure - for EH to take a business to court like this demonstrates the serious nature of the failing and the risk to the public.

There have been many cases EH have investigated following deaths from food poisoning. Agreed no-one is suggesting anyone was made seriously ill but the risk was there, and it seems those involved with this business didn't care about it enough to effect change.

Its not a problem, Village Chef isn't far away and boasts a 4 rating I believe so we have an alternative.
CO Jones
At 20:57 on 29th September 2017, CO Jones commented:
Life is a continual series of risk assessment.

The Chinese food from the village chef is not the best.

I'll keep you in the picture if I die from food poisoning Dan..
At 22:16 on 29th September 2017, Dan commented:
Each to their own I suppose.

Personally I would rather buy Chinese food from a take away restaurant with a 4 food rating than a take away that refused to comply with basic recommendations time and time again to the point where EH had to take legal action.

I used to buy from Oriental Flavour and haven't died either, but this report has put me off going there now and I expect I will not be alone.

You have to admit, if basic food hygiene isn't being maintained and out of date food being cooked and sold it doesn't show a lot of respect for the customers does it.
At 23:19 on 29th September 2017, Baz commented:
On the bright side at least there might be less cars parked opposite clogging up the high street while their drivers clog up arteries.
Susan C
At 09:23 on 30th September 2017, Susan C commented:
COJones, these were not minor faults, storing cooked rice at room temperature is a well known source of food poisoning for a start. To mention the problem of 'over-sanitised life -styles' in this context is totally irrelevant.
The exterior of the building which may not be the responsibility of the take-away itself, is awful and a real eye-sore in what is supposed to be a Conservation Area.
stan e
At 12:22 on 30th September 2017, stan e commented:
To cook in a filthy kitchen and to do nothing about it shows the contempt the staff at oriental flavour have for customers.Enough staff are employed at oriental flavour to clean the kitchen they are just plain lazy!
stan e
At 12:26 on 30th September 2017, stan e commented:
Has anybody actually seen the photos taken by EH? Take a good look because the photos capture a kitchen in a filthy disgusting state!
CO Jones
At 13:36 on 30th September 2017, CO Jones commented:
They have had their fine issued (and rightly so) and they have been destroyed in print media and internet varieties. Is there still need for all the righteous indignation?

Move on. Continue to eat there or don't. I am pretty sure they will carry on trading.

Fair point about the parking. Always terrible parking from cerebrally challenged drivers.

Just makes me put things in perspective of memories such as eating street food in Kowloon and asking where the toilet was. The lady took me behind the stall and pointed at the grid.

Didn't get food poisoning there either.

Military constitution wins the day..
stan e
At 14:11 on 30th September 2017, stan e commented:
Perhaps you can suggest why all the staff employed at Oriental flavour including the manager Ivan failed to notice the filthy kitchen they have been working in day after day? The takeaway was warned on numerous occasions to clean the kitchen and they failed to do so!
stan e
At 14:12 on 30th September 2017, stan e commented:
I personally can't see how a business with a fine of over £5000 can survive!
CO Jones
At 14:39 on 30th September 2017, CO Jones commented:
Stan e, why don't you ask them?

you are the one with the axe to grind
CO Jones
At 14:44 on 30th September 2017, CO Jones commented:
And if they don't survive, an extended family will be penniless probably homeless and we will have another empty shop in Neston.

I am baffled by the Vitriol. Its all very Daily Mail
stan e
At 20:45 on 30th September 2017, stan e commented:
No 'axe to grind' whatsoever.As for the daily mail comment...never bought that broadsheet and never will!
At 00:47 on 1st October 2017, Dan commented:
To be honest CO Jones, I am baffled by your support for this business after the way they have conducted themselves. As for being "destroyed in print" I think its more a case of "Named and Shamed".

It should close down, it should get a full refurbishment and re-open to be a refreshed thriving business. That "under new management" sign could make all the difference.

As for an extended family being homeless and penniless - I'm not really feeling positivity to those involved with this business. They were given professional advice on what to do when they were first visited. Had they acted accordingly the standards would have been met and it would not have gone to court or been publicised. They had a choice and chose not to act. There is not a lot of symathy there I am afraid.

The comments on this article are appropriate and reasoned to the surprise and disgust many of us felt when reading the article. They are not particularly vitriolic at all.

Anyway we will move on. many customers have I am sure.
CO Jones
At 06:45 on 1st October 2017, CO Jones commented:
Have you ever been poorly from eating there? I get the impression you have not but you are not that bothered if Ivan and family end up out on their ear?

Good lord

Dave Carter
At 09:29 on 1st October 2017, Dave Carter commented:
This comment in a personal capacity only:

I have eaten from Oriental Flavour many times and never had a problem. Family members have had problems after eating at a number of Neston establishments, which I will not name, but never there. Given that the very real problems which have occurred seem to have been addressed, I would eat from there again.
stan e
At 16:13 on 1st October 2017, stan e commented:
I feel pretty much the same as Dan....it is in the owners best interests to close the business down and undertake a complete refurbishment.... and open up again with a clean slate.
At 19:23 on 1st October 2017, Dan commented:
Of course I don't want ANY family "out on their ears" but its a little unfair to put responsibility for this mess on customers such as myself, stan e, and others who feel let down by the owner and staff who work there and are now put off from going there again. Everyone involved in that business knew what was required, they even had guidance on more than one occasion from EH but ignored it

Its clearly a profitable location but as someone else commented its become a bit if an eyesore in Neston and looks a little grotty from the front too, so refit, re-train and re-open maybe with a refreshed name and no-one has to be out of work.
Arvel Arbeloa
At 12:41 on 2nd October 2017, Arvel Arbeloa commented:
Wish they would do something about the lazy idiots who park opposite and block the high street.
Dave Carter
At 16:11 on 2nd October 2017, Dave Carter commented:
Thats a single yellow line, which means that there are hours of control which will be specified on a sign. I can't read it on Google Streetview, but I seem to remember that its OK to park there after 6pm, though it may be 6:30.
Dave Carter
At 16:17 on 2nd October 2017, Dave Carter commented:
Hmm.. in 2009 and 2011 the hours of control were 8am - 6pm. On 2016, after footpath refurbishment the sign isn't there. Does anyone know if it is there now?
At 16:37 on 2nd October 2017, Dan commented:
I'm pretty sure the sign is still there and it is ok to park there after 6pm, however people often park there much earlier which makes it dangerous at the end of the rush hour, plus really there is only room for 2 cars on the single yellow line but frequently cars are parked on the double yellow line by the brown horse and worse on the zig zag area by the zebra crossing.

It is dangerous - many times I have been driving down into Neston and had to go across to the right to overtake parked cars when someone pulls out of Brook Street or Parkgate road heading up the town so it gets a bit close. Fortunately on those occasions the other drivers can see the predicament.

Maybe the parking should be from 7pm and enforcement for anyone parking on the zig zag or double yellows
Arvel Arbeloa
At 16:46 on 2nd October 2017, Arvel Arbeloa commented:
As far as I know it’s 6pm but there are people parking there from 5. It is dangerous and causes hold ups. Seen a few now parking on the kerb and the double yellows but as there’s no police in Neston it never gets enforced.
Susan C
At 17:10 on 2nd October 2017, Susan C commented:
I presume they park there because all the other Neston car-parks have closed for the night? No? Or are they just too lazy to walk round the corner. Is this man-on-his-way-home-from-work does not have to lower himself to use a car-park?
CO Jones
At 21:43 on 2nd October 2017, CO Jones commented:
Or Woman. Just for some equality balance.
martyn w
At 19:03 on 14th October 2017, martyn w commented:
In their defence, I've always liked the fact that you can see right into the kitchen. The chinese food is stir-fried in the wok at the back, and the fish are fried right in front of you.

Ok, it there's a problem with storing rice that needs to be sorted out.

I've been an occasional customer for decades and never had a problem.
stan e
At 22:32 on 6th November 2017, stan e commented:
I understand that the takeaway is now under 'new management'?

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