A Chinese takeaway has been found to be complying with food hygiene standards after it was given a zero food hygiene rating.

Stockton Council issued the rating under Food Standards Agency guidelines, saying “urgent improvement necessary” to the Royal Chef in Stockton following an inspection in March.

The agency examines hygienic food handling including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage. It also looks at the cleanliness and condition of the building including layout, ventilation, hand-washing and pest control to enable good food hygiene.

Finally it looks at management of food safety, including systems or checks to ensure the food sold or served is safe to eat, evidence that staff know about food safety, and whether the food safety officer has confidence standards will be maintained in future. In all three categories, the agency found “major improvement necessary” at the eatery on Glenfield Road, Stockton.

Stephen Lam, business manager of the takeaway, said in response: “We acknowledge that there (were) previous hygiene issues, but we took immediate corrective actions to address them. Recently, the authorities conducted another inspection, and we’re pleased to share that we passed with flying colours.

“The inspector found no issues, and our shop now meets the required hygiene standards. We’re committed to maintaining high hygiene standards in our shop and will continue to take all necessary measures to avoid any future issues.”

A spokesperson for Stockton Council said: “Environmental health officers have worked closely with the food business owner and are satisfied the premises currently complies with food hygiene standards.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands the council has been working with the Royal Chef and revisited them to give them advice and address issues. The takeaway has been re-inspected to ensure it is compliant and safe to trade with no risk to the public.

The zero rating will remain, however, unless the takeaway pays to be rated again or until it is rated again at the next standard inspection.