THE owner of a Chinese restaurant has been fined £3,000 after an environmental health inspection found dirty equipment and evidence of cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods.

Hai Lin, the owner of New Sing Lee, in Eastbourne Road, Darlington, appeared before magistrates in the town on December 11.

He admitted four offences relating to food hygiene and was also ordered to pay Darlington Borough Council costs of £350.

Loading article content

An environmental health officer from the council carried out a routine inspection of the premises on Thursday, May 31, the court was told.

They found catering staff wearing outdoor clothing, equipment was dirty, evidence of cross contamination between raw food and ready to eat foods and no effective food safety management system.

The court heard there was also a history of failing to comply with food hygiene legislation and that the owner had been sent warning letters in the past.

The business currently has a food hygiene rating of zero and the council says its environmental health officers will continue to keep the situation under review.

Councillor Chris McEwan the Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, whose portfolio includes environmental health, said: “The council employs food safety enforcement officers who for the majority of time work with businesses to achieve compliance with the legislation.

“In a minority of cases, where food business operators fail to respond to advice and present a risk to the public, formal enforcement action will be pursued, as it was in this case.”

The Northern Echo has called the takeaway for comment several times, without success.