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Rat poo found on floor of South London Chinese takeaway with worst hygiene score

A Chinese takeaway with rat poop on the floor has been warned after an inspector discovered customers could get food poisoning from reheated rice. A chef at Bamboo Garden on Burnt Ash Road in Lee told a council worker they had reheated rice which had been left in a plastic box at room temperature.

The takeaway received the worst possible rating of 0 out of 5 for food hygiene following an inspection on December 1, 2021. A food hygiene officer found food stored in plastic containers dirty and noticed mouse droppings near the kitchen during the visit.

Bamboo Garden in Lee was ordered to take immediate action to improve after the inspection. The takeaways were found to violate 13 food hygiene rules. A Lewisham Council report from December 20, 2021 reads: ‘On arrival I noticed a plastic tray of cooked rice left at room temperature. I was informed by one of the chefs that the rice is cooked, kept at room temperature and then reheated when requested by the customer.

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“This is bad practice as harmful bacteria can grow at room temperature. The main concern is the formation of toxins which will be destroyed by the heat treatment and could lead to food poisoning of consumers. At the time of inspection, a Rat activity in the form of rat droppings was noted in the basement Slight mouse activity in the form of mouse droppings was noted in the small dry storage room located at the entrance to the kitchen.

Cleaning was poor throughout the takeout, according to the inspector. The fryers used to cook the food were covered in grease while the fans inside the refrigerators were dusty. Dirt and grease may have accumulated on the takeaway floors.

The report continues: “Some food items such as chicken meatballs were stored uncovered in refrigerators and freezers. The walls in some areas of your premises, particularly in the basement, were in poor condition. Parts of the wall were also falling. Black mold growth was also noted in one of the basement rooms where chest freezers were located.

A letter to Bamboo Garden from a Lewisham environmental health officer said an inspector would review the takeaways to ensure it was taking steps to improve. After the second inspection, the council will consider what action to take against takeaways. Bamboo Garden has been contacted.