Essex Chinese restaurant shut down after live mice discovered in noodles

The owner of the Dragon Palace Chinese restaurant in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, has been fined £3,000 after live mice were found in a box of noodles.

Inspectors also discovered decomposing bodies of rodents and mouse droppings, as well as congealed grease covering the ceiling at the restaurant.

Little effort had been made to clean the kitchen regularly and not one member of staff washed their hands during the hour-long inspection despite handling both cooked and raw meat, Southend magistrates’ court heard.

Owner Kun Zhang admitted five counts of breaking health rules; including allowing mice to infest in the restaurant kitchen and allowing cooked food to be kept in boxes which had previously contained raw chicken.

Southend Council officials discovered the filth during a routine inspection in November 2010. It was shut down immediately after the inspection and has not reopened.

Sentencing Ms Zhang, of High Street, Canvey, Essex, bench chairman Martin Everett said: 'We have heard evidence and seen pictures of very serious contaminations in the Dragon Palace. We feel this did expose the public to significant, serious risks.'

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