A Chinese takeaway hit with a zero-star food hygiene rating after inspectors discovered mould and blood stains has cleaned up its act.
Inspectors issued Ho Ho in Folkestone a warning over electricity and gas safety in a damning report which highlighted a catalogue of serious failings in September.
But after bosses voluntarily shut the Bouverie Road West takeaway for a clean it received a three-star rating in October.
During the September probe, inspectors found mouldy chopping boards and containers before warning management some equipment had deteriorated to the point of no return.
Mould was a major issue elsewhere in the establishment with evidence found on the walls of the basement, food preparation area and on the seals to the rear of the kitchen’s wash-up sink.
The general cleanliness also came under fire, with food debris left on the floor of the prep area and dirt being highlighted as an issue in various areas of the kitchen.
The floor covering in the basement walk-in chiller was dirty with dried blood spills – as officers warned the takeaway to thoroughly clean and disinfect the premises.
Inspectors found sinks in the staff toilet, kitchen and basement food preparation area without hot water, due to a broken boiler.
It would later emerge there was no provision in place for a temporary hot water supply during opening hours and the maintenance of the boiler was severely lacking.
Both fixed electrical and portable gear suffered defects which required attention, according to the report.
Inspectors pointed to a loose double plug socket behind the bain-marie, also known as a water bath, and a burn mark on the surface of a chest freezer plug, which may have indicated poor wiring.
The canopy filters – designed to reduce nuisance from odours and grease accumulation – were missing from the kitchen and discovered in a box outside.
Raw onions, cabbages and mushrooms which had been prepared for cooking were left in open containers underneath the sink – risking the possibility of cross-contamination.
Some equipment in contact with food such as rice cookers, a bench-mounted tin opener and food storage containers were not clean, while the sweet and sour storage container was located directly next to an open waste bin.
Hot-held sauces were stored at a temperature below 63◦C in the bain-marie in the kitchen with officers advising all food which is being cooked or reheated, and is intended to be sold hot, must be held at at least 63◦C.
Unwrapped frozen bread slices were stored in a used and uncovered cardboard box – which cannot be effectively cleaned.
Some food containers stored in the basement walk-in chiller were placed directly on top of food stored in open, uncovered containers.
Officers declared it was clear staff had not received sufficient training about allergens and that it was apparent the level of food hygiene awareness amongst workers was inadequate. A documented food safety management system was not in place at the time of the first inspection.
Inspectors told the takeaway: “Remove the heavily scored and mouldy chopping boards from the premises, replace with new ones and maintain in a clean condition.
“A thorough deep clean (and disinfection) is required. All areas and equipment must be maintained in a clean condition.
“You must ensure that all food handlers engaged in your food business are supervised, instructed, and trained in food hygiene matters as necessary, bearing in mind the type of work they do.
“Do not store food next to open waste bins.”
Ho Ho has since been handed a three-star rating which means the venue is “generally satisfactory”.
The managers were contacted for comment but nobody was available.