THE boss of a York restaurant has been banned from managing any food business after hygiene inspectors uncovered ants, grime, grease, dirt, food debris, and other health hazards in its kitchen.
Susan Chu and Jumbo Chinese Buffet also face a combined fines and costs bill of nearly £44,000 for 38 offences of breaching food hygiene regulations.
City of York Council prosecuted both after the restaurant comprehensively failed a routine inspection and six visits over seven months failed to get management to clean up its act.
It was the second time Jumbo Chinese Buffet in George Hudson Street under Chu’s management had been fined for food hygiene breaches. It was ordered to pay £10,500 in 2004.
Last month, The Press revealed the restaurant was one of five in the city to get a “zero” rating under the five-star hygiene inspection system.
Senior environmental health officer Anna Carson said: ““The level of fine imposed by the court is a clear message that poor standards of food safety will not be tolerated in food businesses.”
Both Chu, 36, of Celandine Close, Whitebridge Park, Gosforth, and York Jumbo Ltd, of Manchester, the company that owns the restaurant, pleaded guilty to eight charges of breaching food hygiene regulations and two of failing to comply with improvement notices and asked for 28 similar offences to be taken into consideration.
The company, which the court heard employs eight staff with a turnover of £300,000, was fined £30,000 with a £15 victim surcharge and £3,843.31 prosecution costs, In addition to the ban, Chu, the sole director and only active partner, was fined £10,000 with a £15 victim surcharge.
Defence solicitor Barry Speker told York magistrates at the time of the offences Chu was preoccupied with the fatal illness of her father and the need to support her mother and did not travel to York as often as she should have done.
The staff had received proper training and it had been “reasonable to assume” they were doing as they had been trained.
No member of the public had complained about the poor hygiene or become ill as a result.
She had closed the restaurant and employed a specialist company to do a deep clean after the initial visit, but it had not been done to a standard to satisfy the council.
• City of York Council officers found in Jumbo’s kitchens ants; staff wearing dirty clothes and failing to wash their hands; grimy and greasy cooking items, surfaces, ovens and taps; food left out of fridges for too long; hot cooked chicken allowed to cool to levels at which bacteria could flourish; lack of disinfection routines, open containers exposing food to the risk of cross-contamination and dirty fans that could drop and spread grime in the air when turned on.