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Live Mice Found In Noodles In UK Chinese Takeaway Joint

PTI 05 Feb 2011, 11:06:25 IST
A Chinese takeaway in Essex, UK, has been shutdown after health inspectors found two live mice in a box of noodles, reports Daily Mail, London.

The shop was littered with droppings - and it was thought 'probable' that some of them had ended up in customers' meals.

Dead mice were also found rotting under freezers in the filthy kitchens at Dragon Palace, on London Road, Westcliff, Essex.

Cooked food was also found being kept in raw containers during the routine inspection.

Southend Magistrates' Court granted a hygiene emergency notice so it will stay closed until the owners can prove they have cleaned up their act.

The mice were found when inspectors heard rustling at the back of the kitchen.

Sheira Fox, a senior environmental health inspector at the council, told the court: 'I pulled out one of the freezers and underneath it was full of mouse droppings, and on the left there was a dead mouse.

'It was in the final stages of decomposition.'  Another dead mouse was discovered in the takeaway's washing-up room.'

The two mice found in the kitchen were released by the inspectors outside.

Ms Fox said: 'The premises were in a filthy condition, with mouse droppings just everywhere.  The probability of mouse droppings in food was quite clearly there.'

Other problems included a general lack of cleaning, failure to use sanitiser cleaning products - with a filthy dishcloth used everywhere instead.

The business has been the subject of around a year's worth of work by Southend Council, which included staff training delivered in Mandarin to try and improve standards.

Takeaway owners Kun Zhang and Hao Chen were told about the proceedings but the court heard they chose not to attend.

Southend Council has yet to decide whether to instigate criminal proceedings over the inspection findings.