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Restaurant owners fined over food hygiene breaches

The owners of a Middlesbrough restaurant have been fined over serious hygiene breaches which put public health at risk.

Middlesbrough Council Environmental Health officers found evidence of a serious mouse, rat and insect infestation and poor standards of cleanliness were discovered during a routine inspection of A Bite of China in Borough Road.

JC Chinese Catering Limited, which owns the Restaurant, was charged under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 with failing to keep its food premises clean, failing to keep food equipment and fittings clean, failing to prevent pest activity and failing to protect food from contamination.

Appearing before Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (September 11), the company pleaded guilty to all charges and was fined £5,332 and ordered to pay £946 towards the Council’s costs, plus a £170 victim surcharge.

Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Public Protection Judith Hedgley said: “Nearly all Middlesbrough food businesses have good or excellent standards. However, we do have a handful of food businesses in Middlesbrough where officers are having to spend a large amount of time taking legal action to make sure the public are protected.

“The substantial fine issued by the Court should act as a reminder to food businesses that there are financial consequences, as well as the loss of business, if they do not meet basic hygiene standards.”

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “We want to work with local food business to achieve good standards of food hygiene and most businesses in Middlesbrough are clean and well run.

“The public can be reassured that this type of enforcement action, which is rare, will be taken where consumer safety is put at risk. We have a duty to protect the public.”

Anyone running a food business in Middlesbrough who would like more information on the advice and support sessions please email the Environmental Health Team at EHTS@middlesbrough.gov.uk with their business and contact details.