Wigan takeaway and owner fined after stomach-churning food hygiene safety breaches

A Wigan takeaway and its owner have been hit with a bill totalling thousands of pounds after inspectors found stomach-churning hygiene and food safety breaches.

Accusations of serious failings had been levelled against The Rice Bowl on Ormskirk Road, Newtown, and a man connected with the business by Wigan Council.

Pictures taken of the shabby takeaway’s interior reveal unrefrigerated prawns on the side, piles of raw chicken in a sink and disgustingly filthy and fat-clogged work and cooking surfaces.

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Wen Lin appeared at Wigan Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to the 13 charges levelled against both him and LCC Food Limited.

A shocking picture from the interior of the Rice BowlA shocking picture from the interior of the Rice Bowl
A shocking picture from the interior of the Rice Bowl
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Among other charges against the business were that food was stored in containers previously used for raw meat and that the ceiling in the kitchen was covered in plastic bags.

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There were shortcomings in staff training, the food preparation areas and equipment were filthy and the business had no food management plan in place, prosecutors also say.

One charge read: “Floor surfaces under all work benches, cooking ranges and fridges were covered in extensive dirt, food debris and grease, the storage bins, chipper, open food containers and fridge handles were dirty with food debris and grease, and the heated cabinet, wok range, utensil containers and open food containers were covered in food debris.”

A shocking image from the interior of the Rice BowlA shocking image from the interior of the Rice Bowl
A shocking image from the interior of the Rice Bowl

Another said that the business “failed to ensure food was protected against contamination likely to render the food unfit for human consumption, injuries to health, or contaminated in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect it to be consumed in that state,.

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“In particular there was uncovered raw chicken in the sink, food was stored directly on the yard floor surface, and open containers of food were stored in the kitchen on shelves very close to the wash basin where it could be splashed when staff washed their hands.”

The 26 charges to which guilty pleas were entered refer to events after three visits to the business by food officers in November 2019 and April 2020.

There were 24 charges of failing to comply with EU provisions concerneing food safety and hygiene.

The Rice Bowl exteriorThe Rice Bowl exterior
The Rice Bowl exterior
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And there was also a charge each for owner and business of failing to improve electrical safety in the premises after an order had been made to do so.

The Rice Bowl itself faced a fine, costs and victim services surcharge of £1,008.

Lin himself has to pay costs, victim surcharge and a fine totalling £3,816.

By far the biggest contributor to the total was the court costs.

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