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A takeaway boss says getting slapped with a 'zero' hygiene rating saw him cash in just £20 for an entire night.
Gary Kwong, 56, says he has drastically improved his Oriental Cooking Studio since receiving a damning inspection review but the customers are yet to pile in.
A second inspection of Gary's kitchen in Plymouth, Devon on Monday returned good news with a 'generally satisfactory' rating, leaving him hopeful of a boost to takings.
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"I have a family to look after and then the mortgage," Gary told PlymouthLive on Tuesday night.
Mr Kwong, 56, has been working at his Henderson Place takeaway since September 2019. Before that, Mr Kwong said the building had been "empty and run down" for around ten years.
On February 9, food hygiene inspectors visited the takeaway and found it to need "urgent" improvements. Oriental Cooking Studio was handed a zero food hygiene rating – the lowest rating an inspector can give.
The business was ordered to improve on all three areas inspected, including hygienic food handling, cleanliness of the building and food safety.
But Gary's turned things around. Oriental Cooking Studio was re-inspected on Monday, March 13 at 5.15pm and was given a rating of a three.
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Mr Kwong said: "The health inspector came yesterday. Everything's fine. We are back to normal standard. Rating three." The rating is yet to be uploaded to the Plymouth City Council website and it is understood the new rating will be uploaded within the next few weeks.
It stated that 'no further action' from the business but Gary can expect to be checked on "in order to monitor for pests and general standards of cleaning to ensure standards do not slip".
The ratings are handed out by the Food Standards Agency after an inspection is carried out locally by the city council, and covers a range of food hygiene measures.
The highest an establishment can score is five, while a rating of three is satisfactory – and below that are ratings of zero, one and two
Google reviews of the takeaway make for some entertaining reading, from complaints about having to fork out 10p for a plastic bag to "too many prawns" in shrimp rice.
Often takeaway fans will slam an establishment for being slow with their order, it appears that's not a problem Gary's customers face but he still can't win.
One person reviewed: "Food arrived ahead of time, the prawn crackers felt and tasted like they were yesterday's as they soft and tastless. And the Chicken Balls where greasy, you may as well have been eating fish and chips.
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"The only good thing was the Egg fried Rice. The Shrimp Fried rice had too many prawns in it ( and i like prawns, but not that many). Won't be ordering from here again Sorry.!!!!!"
Another disappointed diner wrote: "Spent over £30 and was given 10 prawn crackers to share between 4 of us! Was then charged 10p for a carrier bag to boot!! #RippedOff."
There is plenty of praise for Gary's business online too, however, with one person hailing it as "the best in all of plymouth by far!!!"
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