Owner charged over 'grossly dirty and unhygienic' butchery

By Heather McCracken

The owner of a West Auckland supermarket faces prosecution after its butchery was found to be "grossly dirty and unhygienic."

Waitakere City Council has laid a charge of breaching the council's food bylaw against Jin Ling Chen, the owner of D H Supermarket in Henderson. The charge carries a maximum fine of $20,000.

Council environmental compliance team manager Alan Ahmu said the supermarket was inspected in January after a complaint. "It was grossly dirty and unhygienic, [there was] dirt and filth everywhere."

A council report said the cool room was coated with meat and blood debris, and the display cabinets were smeared with blood. Rotting meat was also present.

The manager shut the butchery for cleaning, and it was re-inspected and cleared to open again the next day. But Ahmu said the breach was so serious the inspector "felt they had no option but to take a prosecution".

Owner Jin Ling Chen said she was not present the day of the closure. "We still had lots of customers. One customer was not happy," she said.

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