Raw chicken defrosted on floor and ill food handlers - takeaway given zero food hygiene score

PUBLISHED: 13:47 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 07:35 08 January 2020

Cleopatra in Norwich, on Knowland Grove. Photo: Lauren Cope

Cleopatra in Norwich, on Knowland Grove. Photo: Lauren Cope


A takeaway has been threatened with action after hygiene inspectors found “major” concerns, including raw chicken being defrosted on the floor and out of date food.

Norwich City Council inspectors visited Cleopatra, at 71 Knowland Grove in Norwich, at the beginning of December.

They gave it a score of zero, the lowest on a scale of zero to five, and said a revisit is planned and "enforcement action is likely".

They said: "Food hygiene standards are poor and there is major non-compliance with legal requirements which have led to significant risks to food safety.

"There are major and widespread lapses in safe food handling practices and procedures."

Inspectors discovered raw foods stored next to ready-to-eat products, and raw chicken being defrosted at "ambient temperatures on the floor".

The takeaway's hand basin was "not connected", the report said, and the origin of some cow stomach meat could not be determined.

MORE: Paperwork to mouldy food - are food hygiene ratings fair on restaurants?

The council team raised concern over the cow stomach, which was being cooked from frozen, and five tubs of cream which were beyond their best before date.

They warned that housekeeping could be "greatly improved", and that several areas, including chopping boards and a can opener stored on the floor, needed cleaning.

It included a saucepan, which had been used as a cover to a drain.

Cleopatra does not have a food safety management system, the inspectors' report said, and the staff had not identified allergens.

"There was insufficient control over the contamination of food from food handlers known or suspected to be suffering from a food-borne disease or gastro-intestinal illness," they said.

But there was some praise for the takeaway - inspectors said they were pleased to see the "food handlers had been trained to an appropriate level and evidence of their training was made available".

A zero score indicates that urgent improvement is necessary.

Hasan Shali, the takeaway's owner, said that the chicken had only recently been delivered from London when the inspection took place and that he was in the process of moving it to the fridge.

He added that he had since taken action to improve the cleanliness of the takeaway as a result of the council's feedback, including repainting.

He said: "I am a small business, I am not Tesco, Sainsbury's, McDonald's or Subway. I quickly sorted the issues the council raised."

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