Popular South Shields curry house ordered to clean up its act after inspectors discover RAT DROPPINGS and food stored in buckets of water

A South Shields curry house has been given a one-star food hygiene rating after food was found to be stored in a bucket of water and rat droppings were found in the toilets.

Monday, 30th December 2019, 3:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 11:51 am

Spice One, on South Avenue, near to The Nook, was inspected by the Food Standards Agency on September 13, 2019, where watchdogs found a catalogue of shortcomings and failures in relation to its cleanliness and food storage.

The restaurant which specialises in Indian cuisine has become a popular choice for residents since opening its doors in March 2003, but now it has told that major improvement is necessary if it is to continue serving customers.

The inspection found that improvement is necessary for both its hygienic food handling and the cleanliness and condition of facilities and building.

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Spice One, South Avenue, South Shields.

And the inspection, carried out by South Tyneside Council on behalf of the Food Standards Agency also found that major improvement necessary for its management of food safety required.

The ratings come after a report of the inspection released by the council following a Freedom of Information Request, found that inspectors discovered at the time of the visit that food was being stored in a bucket of water on the floor below the hand was basin – creating the risk of cross contamination.

Rat or mouse droppings were also found in the toilet lobby area and management was ordered to urgently obtain specialist advice to treat the problem.

The report said: “Rat or mouse droppings were identified in the toilet lobby area.

“Given that you cannot remember seeing these during your checks it is hard to establish if this is a current recent infestation.

“You must obtain specialist advice from a contractor to identify the source of the infestation, to treat the problem and implement controls such as blocking up access holes to prevent any further ingress of rodents into the food business.”

Inspectors also found that the wash hand basin was not in regular use; there was no soap to the toilet wash basin and only toilet paper was available for drying hands; and quantity of reheated rice was left out at room temperature.

The floor was also said to be particularly dirty below food equipment in the kitchen and the condition of the several of the food containers in the premises had deteriorated and could no longer be thoroughly cleaned or disinfected.

The report continued: “Rice and chicken was left to cool at room temperature in the kitchen and back room.

“This slows down the cooling process and presents ideal conditions for food poisoning bacteria to grow.”

A series of recommendations were provided by inspectors to management following the report which including asking Spice One to provide the pest control records of the pest contractor used to manage the pest control and introducing a system of date coding for high-risk foods to ensure stock is rotated and is not used beyond its shelf-life.

At the time of the inspection report, inspectors said that they would revisit the restaurant in one week to ensure that the business had addressed the rat/mouse problem sufficiently.

It advised that a full disinfection of the kitchen should be conducted as a precaution.

The Gazette tried to contact Spice One several times for comment.