A THAI restaurant has been told it is not complying with the law when it comes to food safety.

Siam Orchid, in George Yard, Andover, was visited by a food hygiene inspector in March, and a report, which has just been released to the Advertiser by Test Valley Borough Council, showed the restaurant was not keeping up-to-date with food safety documentation, with the last entry to a ‘daily diary’ made in November last year.

The inspector found a bag of mussels with the packaging removed, so there was no information about when they should be used by, and witnessed the same plastic containers being used to store food such as prawn toast and dumplings as raw meat and fish.

All containers were being manually washed in the same sink, creating a risk of e-coli by not being removed, according to inspectors.

The report said: “Unfortunately, as you do not have a dishwasher unit, sterilising sink, or steam cleaner at this business, food contact surfaces, equipment and utensils cannot be shared and need to be specifically designated to either raw or ready-to-eat foods only.”

Large quantities of temperature sensitive food such as cooked chicken strips and cooked chicken satay on skewers was also left out at room temperature, inspectors added.

The report said: “These types of food support rapid bacteria growth of food poisoning bacteria which can produce toxins which subsequently can cause food poisoning.”

The restaurant was asked to identify allergenic ingredients used in its dishes to provide to customers, and the report said: “It is critical that you and all food handlers are aware of the potential dangers of cross contamination risk factors when handling/preparing allergenic food ingredients and non-allergenic food ingredients.”

Kitchen staff were observed for two hours and at no point did they wash their hands, with the inspector noting that the sink had ice crystals in it, showing it “clearly had not been used for its intended use”. There were also no hand-drying towels available.

The restaurant was told to ensure regular handwashing takes place, particularly after using the toilet, after handling rubbish, after smoking and after handling raw food.

The standard of cleaning at Siam Orchid was described as “poor” with fridge handles found to be greasy to touch with encrusted food debris.

The report said: “There was accumulated food waste underneath cooking and food preparation benches, cobwebs hanging from food storage areas, grease and grime at the rear wall floor junctions. And the mastic seal around the sink unit was blackened with algae.

“Cleaning agents were available but their suitability and effectiveness and lack of application was very questionable.

The inspector instructed that a thorough deep-clean takes place of all equipment and surfaces.

Siam Orchid was asked to make various changes immediately including that all staff implement safe methods for preparing, handling, cooking and reheating food.

It was also ordered to keep all receipts for food purchased, and where necessary, the packaging.

Siam Orchid’s management refused to comment when contacted by the Advertiser.