A popular Chinese restaurant has been awarded a 1-star food hygiene rating after horrified kitchen inspectors found "ideal conditions for foodborne bacterial contamination".
Environmentalists at Sun Ying in Birkenhead found a number of issues, including cooks wearing dirty clothes, raw chicken chopped on the same surface as vegetables, dirty kitchen surfaces and food shelves.
Cooks told the inspectors they regularly left boiled ducks and cooked rice for about six hours.
A report after the environmental health visit found that the identified situation was "ideal for the growth of food poisoning bacteria" and that "the risk of food poisoning was high among customers".
The inspectors also found that sweet and sour chicken, supposedly kept "warm" in the all-you-can-eat buffet area, was lukewarm and therefore should have been thrown away.
Several packs of eggs (apparently bought at a greatly reduced price) were out of date for more than three weeks.
After the June inspection, the restaurant, rated 3 out of 5 on Tripadvisor, received the second-lowest sanitation rating. According to the report, employees' awareness of food hygiene was "inadequate".
The following standards were recorded:
Hygienic handling of food: rectification required
Cleanliness and condition of the facilities and buildings: Generally satisfactory
Management of food safety: Significant improvement necessary
Much of the kitchen was covered in dirt and debris, and a discussion with the head chef led inspectors to believe that cooking aprons were only washed every three days.
Employees had to be instructed to use hot soapy water to remove debris, and the report said they had not used any detergent when cleaning.
The owners of Sun Ying, located on Grange Road West, have also been instructed to take action to prevent pests.
Sun Ying was asked for a comment.