A sushi restaurant has been closed after being deemed a “threat to public safety”.
One customer is understood to have suffered from anaphylactic shock after eating at Sushi One in Baddow Road, Chelmsford.
Rodent droppings were found at the all-you-can-eat restaurant which has finally been shuttered after multiple warnings from the council about its hygiene standards.
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“Every step” possible was taken by Chelmsford City Council to hold the restaurant owners accountable, it said.
Raw meat was found uncovered in the freezers and in containers on the floor, the Environmental Health team discovered.
The revelations led to the restaurant being slapped with an initial one-star in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and even this was then lowered to zero stars.
The council claimed demands were ignored, leading to Sushi One being taken to court, Essex Live reports.
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The structure of the premises was found to be in poor condition and inspectors were unable to locate a documented food safety management system.
In a report made to council and Trading Standards, one woman claimed she went into anaphylactic shock while out for a meal there, despite telling staff that she had a severe nut allergy ahead of time.
She claimed she was assured there were no nuts in her meal yet the reaction saw her needing to go to hospital.
At Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on April 27 this year the owners were sentenced for two food Hygiene Improvement Notices; one for lack of a food safety management system and a second for poor structure conditions, and were made to pay £24,000 and all court costs for the prosecution.
The restaurant is also unable to open until it is found to have reached a satisfactory level in the eyes of the city council.
The presiding judge said: “As to culpability, this is in the highest category. City Council told the company what the [problems] were, explained very clearly what had to happen and the company simply ignored it.
“That is a deliberate and flagrant disregard.”
This is a rare situation according to lead compliance officer for the case Izzie Daniel.
She said: “Food outlets are under huge pressure, with rising energy costs only adding to the strains already facing their industry post-pandemic.
“A common reaction to loss of profits is to cut back on staff, but this can lead to the remaining staff being stretched too thin and standards dropping.
"No one wants to see businesses close, especially in such a trying time, which is why we always offer advice and allow them time to rectify any problems in the first instance.
“Unfortunately, in the case of Sushi One, no efforts were made to comply with notices until it was too late. We implore businesses to heed our advice at inspections, to avoid this kind of outcome."
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