Takeaway owner ordered to pay £8,000 in fines and costs for food safety offences


The owner of a takeaway business has been ordered to pay fines and court costs totalling £8,654 after pleading guilty to a string of food safety offences.

After receiving a complaint from a customer regarding an undercooked Chicken Pot Sticker (a Chinese dumpling), officers from Cornwall Council’s Environmental Health Team made an unannounced visit to Asian Bowls at Brunel Heights, Saltash on October 22 2020.

The Chicken Pot Sticker was sent for testing by a public analyst and was found to contain raw chicken.

The Chicken Pot Sticker from Asian Bowls was found to contain raw chicken

During their visit, the officers found multiple food safety breaches. There was a substantial amount of grease and dirt on surfaces, including the undersides of work surfaces, as well as inside fridges, freezers, cupboards and on light switches. The floor was so encrusted with grease, dirt and food debris that it was dangerously slippery.

There was dirt and grease dropping into open food in fridges, on work surfaces and shelves. The officers also found high risk foods were not being kept at the required temperature and the staff were not wearing suitable protective clothing.

Due to the conditions and lack of food safety controls, the officers determined that there was an imminent risk to health. The owner, Kai Kuang Chiam, voluntary closed the business and disposed of all food on the premises.

The business reopened on October 24 following a substantial clean. A Schedule of Works and a Hygiene Improvement Notice were subsequently issued on November 17 2020 with a compliance date of December 20 2020.

Environmental Health officers found grease around the light switch at Asian Bowls in October 2020

The officer revisited the premises in January and found it was cleaner however there was no food safety management system in place, which contravened the Hygiene Improvement Notice. Another visit was made in February and further progress has been made.

In June 2021 the officer visited the premises once again and found conditions had improved and a food safety management system was now in place. As a result of the improvements, the business’ food safety score has improved and the premises is longer deemed a concern by the Council’s Environmental Health team.

In mitigation, Mr Chiam claimed that he ran the front of house and the head chef was responsible for the kitchen area. However, the chef left in September and Mr Chiam accepted he should have ensured that the kitchen was run properly.

After the first inspection in October 2020, Mr Chiam took control of the kitchen and ensured that it was suitably cleaned so he could reopen the next day.

Pictures from the initial inspection at Asian Bowls in October 2020

He continued to make further improvements which was demonstrated by the visit in February. He and his wife both obtained food hygiene qualifications and he now works in the kitchen to ensure the necessary standards are maintained.

Mr Chiam, 48, of Belle Vue Road, Saltash, the sole director of Asian Bowls, pleaded guilty to nine offences.

Mr Chiam, who was given credit for his early guilty pleas, was fined £1,504, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £150 and court costs of £7,000.

Martyn Alvey, portfolio holder for Public Protection at Cornwall Council, said: “It is clear that this business failed to meet the standards required to keep customers safe.
“I am pleased to see that the owner has addressed the issues raised and is working with our Environmental Health officers.
“I hope this case serves as a warning to others. We will not hesitate to take action against businesses that put customers’ health at risk.”

Notes to editors

On Tuesday 28 September 2021 at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court Mr Chiam pleaded guilty to the following offences:

o Failure to keep the food premises clean and maintained in good repair and condition, which is a breach of Regulation (EC) 852/2004, Annex II, Chapter I, para 1 enforced by Regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

o Failing to implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on the HACCP principles, contrary to Regulation (EC) 852/2004, Chapter II, Article 5 (1) enforced by Regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

o Failing to ensure that food handlers and supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activity contrary to Regulation (EC) 852/2004, Annex II, Chapter XII, (1) enforced by Regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

o Failing to ensure that food handling employees are wearing clean protective clothing contrary to Regulation (EC) 852/2004, Annex II, Chapter II, paragraph 1(b) enforced by Regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

o Failing to ensure that all articles, fittings and equipment with which food comes into contact with food were effectively cleaned and, where necessary, disinfected. Cleaning and disinfection are to take place at a frequency sufficient to avoid any risk of contamination, contrary to Regulation (EC) 852/2004, Article 4(2), Annex II, Chapter V, (1)(a) enforced by Regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

o Failing to ensure that all raw materials and all ingredients were kept in appropriate conditions designed to prevent harmful deterioration and protect them from contamination. contamination, contrary to Regulation (EC) 852/2004, Article 4(2), Annex II, Chapter IX, (2) enforced by Regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

o Failing to ensure raw materials, ingredients, intermediate products and finished products likely to support the reproduction of pathogenic micro-organisms or the formation of toxins are not to be kept at temperatures that might result in a risk to health, contrary to Chapter IX, (5) enforced by Regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

o Failure to comply with Hygiene Improvement notice requiring the implementation and maintenance of a fully documented food safety management system based on HACCP principles that will ensure food safety, contrary to Regulation 6(2) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, enforced by Regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013

o The placing of food on the market which is unsafe. This is contrary to Regulation (EC) 178/2002, Chapter II, Article 14, para 1, which is enforced by Regulation 19(1) of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

Press release published on October 6, 2021

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