Published: 06:00, 10 January 2020
Inspectors have found worrying failings in food hygiene practice and cleanliness at a long-established Chinese restaurant.
It follows a spot check at Cafe De China at the St George’s Centre in Canterbury, which has now been ordered to make “major improvements.”
The inspection revealed a dirty kitchen in need of a “deep clean”, a mouldy fridge and poor hand-washing procedures.
In the hygiene report, one of the inspectors writes: “I did not witness any hand washing during my visit. I requested one staff member wash his hands after handling raw eggs - he had to be directed to the handwash basin, not the sink.”
Labelling on certain food to say when it should be used was absent, and there was also unwrapped food in freezers.
“Fish are on chicken - this would be a serious allergy risk to anyone eating the chicken that has a fish allergy,” the report says.
The environmental health inspectors were also concerned that the toilet door was being kept open, so it effectively formed part of the kitchen.
'We want to let our customers know that we have dealt with the issues raised' - waitress Ling Cheng
One inspector recorded that the food safety record book was so dirty they were reluctant to touch it.
As a result of the visit by officials in late November, the eatery received a lowly one-star rating in the Food Standards Agency scheme.
Restaurant bosses admit the failures were “basic, routine stuff” at a busy time and insist that improvements were quickly made to satisfy the inspectors when they revisited the business a few days later.
Waitress Ling Cheng said: “We want to let our customers know that we have dealt with the issues raised.”
The inspectors are due to return in three months time.
Cafe de China describes itself as “a traditional Chinese restaurant serving delicious Peking, Szechuan and Cantonese cuisine.” It found popularity for its “eat all you like” menu and has 3.5 stars on TripAdvisor.
But some reviewers comment on the “sticky carpet” and complain of the cutlery being dirty.