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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Cumbrian takeaways fail hygiene inspections

Two takeaways in Workington have been ordered to improve after failing hygiene inspections.

China Palace in Oxford Street received a zero-star rating – meaning urgent improvements were needed – when it was inspected in September last year.

Inspectors raised serious concerns about the way food was being stored, with examples including raw eggs and prawns being stored next to cooked foods – leading to risk of food poisoning.

Other issues of concern raised by inspectors included used supermarket carrier bags being used to store raw meat.

A towel with a “ very strong pungent smell” was being used to dry benches, cooked food was being stored in containers that had previously contained raw chicken and work surfaces and equipment had not been disinfected.

Inspectors also issued a long list of items and areas that needed better cleaning.

As a result the takeaway was given the worst possible Food Hygiene Rating.

The report was released to the News & Star by Allerdale council, which carries out the inspections, under the Freedom of Information Act.

The authority was asked to provide reports of the latest premises in the borough to fail routine inspections.

They included another Workington takeaway, The Great Wall on Moss Bay Road.

It received a two-star rating, meaning improvement is necessary, following an inspection in November last year.

Issues highlighted included bagged, cooked food such as battered shredded chicken defrosting near a bucket of raw chicken and sink of beef.

Raw prawns were also stored alongside cooked vegetables. Uncooked and cooked foods must be kept well away from each other to avoid the risk of contamination.

The report also stated that work tops in the kitchen were not being disinfected, while areas and equipment were noted to need cleaning.

Inspectors concluded that improvements were necessary, but not urgently.

Allerdale council uses the national Food Hygiene Rating system, in partnership with the Food Standards Agency, to help customers decide where to eat out or buy food from. This gives all premises a rating of between zero and five stars – five being very good and zero requiring urgent improvements.

Inspectors look at how hygienically food is handled, the condition of the premises and how food safety is managed and documented.

The News & Star contacted both the China Palace and The Great Wall takeaways but nobody was available to comment.

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