Live mice found in noodles at Chinese takeaway in Essex
A Chinese takeaway could face criminal charges after live mice were found in its noodles.
Health inspectors, who were making a routine visit, discovered the rodents when they heard rustling sounds at the Dragon Palace in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.
They found the takeaway was filthy, with dead mice rotting under freezers.
Magistrates have ruled that the shop must close until it meets Southend-on-Sea Borough Council hygiene standards.
The live mice were found in a gnawed box of dried noodles in the store room.
Two dead mice were also found, along with mouse droppings throughout the takeaway.
Inspectors also discovered that staff were not washing their hands or using anti-bacterial cleaning fluids.
"Mice pass on harmful bacteria when gnawing food and also urinate very regularly so work surfaces and the hands of staff become contaminated," a council food officer said.
"Bacteria therefore will pass from the insides of mice to the insides of humans which clearly is an unacceptable risk to public health."
The council will now decide what further legal action to take against the owners of the takeaway.