Restaurant ban for boss of mouse-infested diner

Fish and meat defrosting in the pot-wash area

Fish and meat defrosting in the pot-wash area

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THE former manager of a Thai restaurant, which was infested with mice and had workers washing salad in a sink filled with dirty dishes, has been banned from running any food business for seven years.

Thikumporn Davitt, 47, was in charge of the Songkran 2 restaurant in Stockbridge when a string of hygiene laws were broken.

Council food safety officers discovered repeated violations during four visits to the Gloucester Street premises last year.

Davitt pleaded guilty to 14 separate charges during an appearance at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Inspectors found mice droppings next to open containers of food while insects and a snail shell were found inside a container. Human hair was found attached to the internal surface of a freezer and staff failed to wash their hands while preparing food.

An employee at Songkran 2, which is open for business, said: “We are under new management and have been transferred to a new owner”.

She added that no-one was available to discuss the previous health violations.

The court heard previously that inspectors who visited the restaurant on July 21 found there was no adequate supply of hot water for staff to clean their hands.

Raw and cooked foods were stored on the same work surface, while vegetables were prepared on the raw meat chopping board.

Noodles, bamboo shoots and bean sprouts were stored in a container next to a bin, and insects were found inside.

When asked about the hygiene problems, Davitt provided council officials with a doctored document about a visit by a pest control firm to the restaurant.

Inspectors posted a Food Hygiene Prohibition Notice on the door of the eatery, but Davitt removed it on July 25.

Council food inspectors returned on September 19 and found staff had not washed their hands before handling food and ready-to-eat salad was being washed in a sink surrounded by dirty dishes.

Another visit on September 28 found Davitt had failed to prevent “contamination likely to render food unfit for human consumption”, and had not ensured that staff were trained in hygiene standards.

Officials came back on November 3 and discovered there was inadequate hot water to clean utensils and equipment, while there was a risk of “chemical contamination” as food was stored in a sink with an open container of detergent.

Staff failed to maintain a “high degree of personal cleanliness” and out-of-date food was found on the premises.

At sentencing in court last Wednesday, Davitt, who lives in Great King Street, was given a prohibition order banning her from managing in the food industry for seven years. She was also fined £600.