Takeaways found guilty of breaching food safety rules

A CHINESE restaurant in an upmarket area of the city has fallen foul of food hygiene inspectors for the fourth time - but still remains open.

Wednesday, 19th October 2011, 1:10 pm

The Green Kitchen in Stockbridge, which has had its kitchens shut down three times already, was fined more than £1000 at Edinburgh Sheriff court after another damning report by the council.

In the latest inspection officers found dirty equipment next to cooked food on a draining board, cooked pork being stored next to dirty containers and utensils on the drainer of the wash up sink, and open food being stored below a chemical dispenser.

It is the second restaurant in that area to appear in court in recent weeks, after the owner of Thai restaurant Songkran 2 pleaded guilty to two charges in relation to food hygiene and had sentence deferred yesterday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Despite the convictions, both restaurants are still in operation today. It is understood that council teams are monitoring them closely to ensure standards are being met.

In August last year the Green Kitchen was shut down for a third time after its kitchens were found to pose an “imminent risk” to diners.

Twice the owners agreed to close its doors while the environment was improved, but in June inspectors once again visited the restaurant.

They found raw meat stored alongside cooked food and ready-to-eat salad items in the refrigerator, and herbs which had evidently been gnawed by mice.

There was also a build-up of dirt and mouse droppings in certain areas and at that point, council officials even took the step of destroying the food they found on site.

Owner Chang Yun Wang of Beijing, China pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined a total of £1185 on October 7, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, environment leader for the city council, said: “This case should stand as a clear warning to food businesses that we will not hesitate to take legal action in order to safeguard the health of consumers. Residents and visitors to Edinburgh are entitled to the highest standards of food hygiene when they dine out, and it is thanks to the vigilance and hard work of our environmental health officers that these types of cases can be brought to court.”

Meanwhile, at Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday Thikumporn Davitt appeared for sentencing after pleading guilty to two charges in relation to food hygiene and preparation at the Songkran 2 restaurant on Stafford Street.

The sheriff opted to delay a decision for two weeks because subsequent reports had been submitted to the procurator fiscal after Mrs Davitt had pleaded guilty.

Those were not available to the Crown, which agreed to revisit the case next week.

The court heard yesterday how Mrs Davitt, who was accompanied in court by her husband and an interpreter, had agreed to close the restaurant for a brief period in July following the inspectors’ visit.

Her solicitor said that she had transferred ownership to a company run by her husband, and that she herself had applied for bankruptcy.

However, she added that Mrs Davitt continues to manage the restaurant.