Lewisham takeaway warned over mice poo on floor and raw burgers stored near lettuce

·3-min read
Favourable Chicken in Hither Green was given a rating of one out of five for food hygiene (photo: Robert Firth)
Favourable Chicken in Hither Green was given a rating of one out of five for food hygiene (photo: Robert Firth)

A South London chicken shop where raw beef burgers were stored next to lettuce has been warned by hygiene inspectors.

Favourable Chicken on Staplehurst Road in Lewisham was given one out of a possible five stars for food hygiene after Lewisham Council swooped on the business in September 2021.

An inspector found mice poo on the floor near a broken walk-in freezer that was leaking water during the visit.

Fridge handles and light switches were covered in grease, while staff preparing food failed to wash their hands in the correct sink.

A report sent to the business on September 28 last year, and obtained by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, following the inspection reads: “Raw beef burgers were being stored above ready to eat mayonnaise tubs and next to ready to eat lettuce.

"Raw chicken was being stored uncovered in the small standalone fridge in the kitchen.

“Staff were handling food and not washing their hands at the dedicated wash hand basin.

"It was evident that hand washing was infrequent and it was not managed adequately.

"Pest activity in the form of mice droppings were noted on various areas within your premises: in the area surrounding the top of the stairwell, on flooring underneath shelving units opposite walk-in freezer.”

It continues: “The sealing to the door of the walk-in freezer located upstairs was very damaged.

"This was preventing the door from closing and sealing correctly.

"The walk-in freezer was also leaking water.

“Very poor standards of cleanliness was noted throughout the premises. Hand contact surfaces such as fridge/freezer handles, microwave handles, light switches and sockets were found to have a build-up of grease, dirt and food debris on them.”

Staff were also found to pour water over raw chicken wings in the kitchen sink to defrost them.

The inspector criticised the method, saying it could cause bacteria to spread onto areas that food might touch.

Meanwhile, cooked chicken wings were kept stored below the correct temperature.

The report continues: “Staff advised that raw chicken wings get defrosted by immersing them in cold running water in the double sinks located in the kitchen.

"This practice represents a serious risk of cross contamination as bacteria can spread onto food contact surfaces, utensils etc.

“Hot food displayed in the hot holding cabinet was not at the right temperature.

"The temperature of a chicken wing was checked with a probe thermometer and it was recorded at 49.1°C.

"Foods that are to be served hot can be out of temperature control (below 63°C) for a single period of up to 2 hours.”

Favourable Chicken has since taken the advice of an independent food safety advisor.

Parmjit Kalley, a food hygiene consultant at Pestige, said the restaurant had carried out a deep clean following the Lewisham Council visit and had set up a new food safety management system.

He said he was confident it would get a five star rating at its next inspection.

He said: “It’s not rocket science when it comes to pest issues.

"We made sure there is not a single dropping in the place and we blocked the holes.

"I made sure they did a proper deep clean everywhere and I monitored that on their behalf.”

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