Shocking images have revealed the horrific condition a Chinese takeaway was left in after being shut down when five illegal workers were found inside.
Cleaners wearing hazmat suits were tasked with cleaning the abandoned eatery which was left with food rotting away inside and maggots swarming the premises.
The Chop Shop in St Dunstan’s Street, Canterbury, was left festering for a month and a half after immigration officers discovered fire illegal workers during a sting.
The owner of the cleaning company Bryson Rubbish Clearance shared the images showing hundreds of maggots on the takeaway’s floor.
He told KentOnline: “In 11 years, it’s the worst job I have ever done. Where I was standing, there was just a pool of maggots – like a sea of maggots, and also there were flies.
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Darren Bryson said: “There were probably about 500 to 600 kilos of mostly meat – including lamb chops and steaks – and they had been there for one or two months. There were some defrosted chips but it was mostly meat. A lot of it was open in trays too. There were fish heads. It was an absolute mess.”
But despite their hazmat suits, nothing could stop the smell coming from inside the takeaway which was causing people to “throw up” on the street.
He added: “We obviously used PPE, but even through the mask, you could smell it.
“100 yards down the road, outside the takeaway, people were throwing up in the street from the smell.”
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Mr Bryson and his colleague “soldiered on”, taking five to six hours to clear out the restaurant. “I’ve never smelt anything like it,” he said.
“We have done some bad jobs before too. It did take some industrial chemicals to get the smell out of our truck. It was the sort of smell that when it hits you it gets in your eyes and in your nose. It was a very hard job.”
Immigration officers swooped on the takeaway on June 30. Canterbury City Council received a complaint about the stench on August 15 which led to inspectors finding a walk-in chiller filled with rotten food.
A council spokesman said: “An abatement notice was served on the leaseholder on Tuesday, August 22, giving them 24 hours to resolve the problem. No action was taken and we returned the following day with a cleaning contractor to begin the process of removing the food.”
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