Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 17:34 UK

Chip shop showed 'poor hygiene'

Llay Fish Bar in Wrexham
The Llay Fish Bar in Wrexham has closed while the investigation is carried out

A council inspection of a chip shop possibly linked to an E.coli outbreak found poor hygiene conditions and major non-compliance with food legislation.

Wrexham council gave the Llay Fish Bar its lowest possible star rating of zero stars in an inspection a year ago.

Meanwhile, environmental health inspectors said they found a shortage of cleaning materials only last week.

Karen Morrisroe-Clutton, 32, and a three-year-old girl remain "seriously ill" in hospital with E.coli.

Karen Morrisroe-Clutton and new son Oliver

All food premises in the Wrexham area are given a star rating after inspections.

The fish and chip shop was inspected by the council on 13 August, 2008 and the report noted: "Poor hygiene conditions found. Some major non-compliance with food legislation."

The chip shop was recommended for annual inspections, and the next was due this month.

Environmental health inspector Rebecca Pomeroy told magistrates an emergency hygiene prohibition notice was served on 31 July after a visit by her and two colleagues.

She said they noted:

• Cleaning cloths "sitting in the wash hand basin" and no soap provided here.

• No proper means to dry hands, except for a tea towel, which "looked like it hadn't been replaced for that evening's trade".

• Some disinfectant "but not a lot left in the bottom of the container".

• Evidence of flies "on the pizza toppings in the chiller".

Families affected by the south Wales E.coli outbreak are shocked by new cases

Ms Pomeroy told the court Ramazan Aslan, the owner, and another member of staff were asked to demonstrate preparing a burger.

But she said neither washed their hands between handling the raw burger and preparing a bread bun and salad.

At the court hearing on Monday, the council obtained an order for the chip shop to remain shut while inquiries continue.

Sharon Mills
Sharon Mills, whose son Mason Jones, five, died in an E.Coli outbreak in 2005
It only takes a small organism to flare up and cause extreme damage, and I don't think people realise that.

It's such a terrible, terrible ordeal these people have to go through, and obviously my little boy went through, and my older son, and it's such a painful, painful thing and in a lot of cases it's unnecessary.

All you can do is sit and wait. Just keep talking and trying to pull them through, and that's all you can do. I'm just so sorry for the families, yet again. You know, it should just never have happened.

I've been trying to raise people's awareness here in Wales, and hopefully it will go a lot further than that as well, because people need to know the consequences.

They need to know about cross-contamination, about keeping raw and cooked meats separate, which a lot of people do, but it needs to be put out there know because it's extremely important, Ecoli is on the increase and people need to be aware of it now.

Ms Morrisroe-Clutton, who is being treated in a medically-induced coma, was admitted to Wrexham Maelor Hospital a week ago after family said she fell ill after eating a vegetarian burger.

She has an 11-week-old baby son and remains in a serious condition on Tuesday evening.

Her husband, Paul Clutton, said: "She's got a lot to fight for - little baby Oliver wants his mum back."

The three-year-old girl also remains "serious" in Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool with renal failure.

Her mother is one of two other less serious E.coli cases being investigated by Wales' public health chiefs and the local authority's environmental health officers.

Tests are ongoing to see if all four patients have the same strain and whether there is a link with the fish bar.

Wrexham council leader Aled Roberts said only last week the authority completed its investigations under the Pennington report, the public inquiry into the E.coli outbreak in south Wales in 2005 which left one boy dead and more than 150 other people ill.

He said the council had checked "high risk" establishments, and Llay Fish Bar was not among them.

He said: "We'd concentrated on meat establishments. Fish and chip shops generally are considered to be low risk."

"My understanding in the briefing last Friday was that the Llay establishment was due for an annual check on 14 August."

Pierre Bartlett, the solicitor for the owner of the fish bar, said Mr Aslan was co-operating fully with the investigation and his thoughts were with the families of those who are ill.

He said: "He wants to help them as much as he can. Anyone in the catering industry in the same position would want to help the authorities to do their job."

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