The owner of a filthy Chinese takeaway received a suspended prison sentence after a court heard his premises were filthy with the kitchen covered in grease and mould.
Hua Chen, who ran the Golden Chef on Newton Drive, Blackpool, admitted nine food hygiene offences when he was brought to court by Blackpool Council.
Chen, 40, was sentenced to three months for each charge at Preston Crown Court, suspended for 18 months.
He was also ordered to pay £750 costs.
He had originally admitted the charges at Blackpool Magistrates Court in October.
Environmental health officers discovered the filthy conditions during a routine visit last March.
There was grease and dirt on the walls and floors throughout the kitchen and storage areas.
Grease was dripping from the ventilation canopy, and cooking equipment was found to be dirty.
Food containers were in a damaged condition and the hand washbasin was obstructed meaning food handlers could not wash their properly.
Containers of raw meat were found stored on the floor and a chopping board was mouldy. Prawn crackers were being stored in a greasy and dirty cardboard box.
Hua Chen had also failed to keep monitoring records, required as part of the business food safety management system.
The court summons was initially returned to the council as Hua Chen’s wife said that he had left the business.
However a further visit to the business by council officers revealed that he was still working there and the papers were re-served.
The court heard how Mr Chen has now passed the legal responsibility of the business to his wife.
This prosecution follows numerous attempts over the last few years by Blackpool Council, to try to help the business improve.
Hua Chen was served with hygiene improvement notices in April 2015, but conditions worsened still, resulting in the prosecution in 2017.
Coun Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council Deputy Leader said: “We will always try to work with businesses with regards to hygiene matters. We want to see our food businesses thrive, but when we don’t see improvements, or standards are extremely poor we will not hesitate to take enforcement action.
“We are pleased that this case was successfully prosecuted and hopefully this will deter other business owners from serving food that could put the public at risk.
“We would recommend that people check the Food Standards Agency website which helps consumers choose where to eat or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, takeaways and food shops. www.ratings.food.gov.uk.”