Shop owner in court after rotting animal carcasses found in the storeroom

A shop owner has been taken to court after food hygiene inspectors found dead animals in his storeroom.

Shuifa Zhang owns the Shunfa Chinese Supermarket on St Helens Road in Swansea, where inspectors found a dead bird and the remains of a rat.

They also found hundreds of rat droppings and dozens of dead flies and maggots when they inspected his premises in August.

Zhang, 54, appeared at Swansea magistrates court where he was fined after admitting six food hygiene offences.

The court was shown pictures of his shop and the lean-to extension which housed the storeroom.

The dead rat was found close to food stock, while the bird carcass was found under a table.

Environmental health officers concluded the shop ‘posed an imminent risk to public health’ and it was immediately closed down for emergency cleaning and repairs.

There was an open tank of crustaceans, with a rusty utensil used to scoop up crabs.

Dirty, soaked newspapers were kept in a container with crayfish, and there were also crayfish loose in a walk-in chiller.

Pests could exploit holes in the floor and other large openings, while one image showed a chewed rubbish bag.

An old ripped duvet hung on a washing line in the store room.

Zhang was issued notices requiring him to complete work to make the shop safe but he breached them, which led to the prosecution.

He was ordered to pay £2,400 in fines, £2,640 in prosecution costs and a victim services surcharge of £960.

Councillor David Hopkins, cabinet member for corporate services, said: ‘The conditions witnessed by our environmental health officers raised significant concerns for public health and thankfully, the shop closed immediately so we could protect customers against serious risks to their health.

‘It’s completely unacceptable for owners of food-related businesses to operate in this manner.

‘Regular inspections by our food hygiene team along with training for staff means that these businesses should know exactly what standards they need to meet to continue trading.

‘We will continue to do everything we can to prevent businesses like this one trading in the conditions they were and risking serious problems for customers that consumed food from their premises.

‘Thankfully, the majority of food businesses in Swansea operate in a way that satisfies existing food hygiene legislation and many go over and above to achieve the highest standards.

‘Those that don’t will face further action from our officers, who are there to protect consumers.’