BOSSES at a Sedgley takeaway have landed a court bill of more than £6,000 after inspectors found rat droppings and a string of other hygiene risks.

Council environmental health officers discovered rat droppings in the food store, holes in the store room roof and dirty or damaged equipment during an inspection of Yummy Wok takeaway in Dudley Street in May 2018.

Food business operator Bao Yu Chen, aged 59, pleaded guilty to 12 food safety and hygiene offences at a hearing at Wolverhampton Magistrates' Court on August 29.

Offences included failing to keep premises and equipment clean and in good order and repair, failing to implement adequate procedures to control pests and failing to store refuse in closable containers. He also pleaded guilty to failing to register the food business with the council.

Chen was fined £3,840 and was also ordered to pay Dudley Council costs of £2,470.80 along with a victim surcharge of £170.

The court heard that a rating of just ‘one’ was given at the inspection but that considerable improvements had been carried out within 24 hours of the inspection.

Chen, of Barrow In Furnace, Cumbria no longer runs the business.

The takeaway is now registered under a new owner not connected to the case and currently has a satisfactory hygiene rating of ‘three’.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: "Pest infestations at food businesses pose a serious risk to the health of customers.

"Our officers prefer to work with businesses to secure compliance but in the case of Yummy Wok, the food business proprietor had failed to register the business as required by law.

"People need to be aware that if they take over the running of a food business from someone else, even if it was previously registered, the new proprietor must re-apply for registration, which is a free service, and in doing so will be afforded the appropriate advice and guidance necessary to operate a safe business.

"Over half of all food outlets in the Dudley borough are achieving the top hygiene rating of five and the vast majority achieve a satisfactory rating of three or more. I would urge consumers to check out hygiene ratings online as these will give consumers a glimpse of what is going on in the kitchen when they eat out, or behind the scenes at the places they shop.”