‘Filthy’ Chinese restaurant’s owner banned

The Good Fortune House, Garstang Road South, Wesham
The Good Fortune House, Garstang Road South, Wesham
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The owner of a Chinese restaurant has been banned for life from taking part in any food business after her premises were found in an “appalling state”.

Vivian Fong Lio, 43, admitted 14 food safety offences at The Good Fortune House in Garstang Road South, Wesham, near Kirkham.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard Fylde Council health officers visited the business after a tip-off from the public.

Claire Holmes, prosecuting, said inspectors found cooked and raw food stored alongside dirty pots in the kitchen, cooked rice left in a bowl covered with a dirty towel, spare ribs kept in a stained cardboard box and mould on satay paste and curry sauce.

A delivery of frozen prawns was left defrosting on the floor, beansprouts which should be kept chilled were out of the fridge and liquid used to cook ducks was left outside.

Cloths were dirty, one sink had no water and another leaked, and shelving was dirty and covered in mould.

Equipment included a slicer which was dirty and had no guard, a dirty chopping board and a dirty can opener.

The chef had no overalls and a glass pane and light fitting were held in place with parcel tape.

When interviewed Lio said she was often upstairs in a flat. She said she prepared vegetables but the conditions in the kitchen were the fault of the “three lazy cooks”.

The court heard Lio, of East Bank Road, St Anne’s, had since sold the restaurant, which was now being operated by new owners.

District Judge Jeff Brailsford told Lio: “In 2009 you were convicted for similar offences but your premises once again got into an appalling state.

“I want to send out a warning to others not to allow this to happen at their premises.

“There has been a massive catalogue of failings which could very easily have led people to suffer.

“What is worse is that you were prosecuted for a like matter, then once again just 18 months later the premises are filthy and dangerous.

“It seems that more by luck than good management that people were not made ill or injured.”

Peter Cave, defending, said his client was suffering deteriorating health, which affected her ability to walk, had no money and was claiming benefits.

He said: “The defendant came to this country from South China in 1990, determined to improve her education.

‘She started in the food and restaurant trade after three years in college.

“She accepts there has been insufficient diligence by those she employed and does not know if they had any training in food safety matters.

“Standards slipped because she was often not there to supervise.”

Judge Brailsford said his sentencing was limited because the defendant had no money and could not do work for the community.

He handed Lio a 16-week home curfew, fined her £250 and ordered her to pay £100 court costs.