Chinese restaurant in Yarmouth was infested with rats and stored mouldy food
- Credit: Great Yarmouth Borough Council
A restaurateur whose Chinese restaurant was infested with rats was fined by magistrates in Great Yarmouth.
Jia Ming Pang, 49, who owns Energy in Marine Parade, pleaded guilty to 17 food safety and hygiene charges, including having mouldy sweet and sour sauce and prawn crackers, as well as rat droppings being found in the cellar.
Prosecuting for Great Yarmouth council, David Lowens said: 'This premises has been a source of concern for a long period of time.'
He said Pang had failed to consider or keep records of any hazards, and that the offences - which were discovered during inspections between April 23, 2015 and August 12, 2015 - were serious.
Magistrates heard evidence from expert witness Bradley Lewis, a consultant environmental health officer who had visited the restaurant. He said he and his colleagues had visited the Golden Mile restaurant on a number of occasions, and had given advice to Pang each time.
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Pang is also a leaseholder of Merge in Dereham Road, Norwich.
Wah-Piow Tan, defending, said Pang had been involved with Merge, which had a five-star hygiene rating, and was aware of his food safety obligations.
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He added: 'Running restaurants is his life and his business. The problem he has is two-fold. He can only open his business in Yarmouth for six months of the year and he was unable to get any trained staff to work.
'The problem was the implementation part and the failure is the location and that he was running this location at a loss.'
Pang - whose address was listed as Ormesby Road, Caister but is believed to live in Norwich - was ordered to pay a total of £16,351 in fines.
He was also told to pay £5151.40 in costs.
Presiding magistrate Paul Allen said: 'You are an experienced restaurateur and you should have known better.'
In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: 'The borough council welcomes the outcome of this case, which proves how seriously the council and the courts view breaches of food safety and hygiene legislation.
'Despite the additional challenges of a major coastal resort, entailing a higher turnover of food businesses, about 91pc of those businesses rated in the borough have scored three or more, with nearly 60pc achieving the top rating of five.
'However, as this case highlights, where an unacceptable level of risk is identified or where a business repeatedly fails to make the required improvements, the council will take enforcement action to protect the public.'