A CHICKEN shop has been hit with a shocking zero out of five hygiene rating after mould was found on the ceiling and inspectors discovered food being stored on the floor.

Bosses at Morley’s, at 98 West Road in Shoebury, have insisted improvements have already been made since the inspection last month and customers “do not need to worry”.

During the inspection on May 17, by Southend Council, inspectors found raw meat being stored inappropriately and a “hand sink was being used for food storage”.

The report by the officer from Southend Council said the business were using “totally unacceptable practices” for storing and preparing food which could lead to food poisoning for customers.

However the owner, who asked not to be named, has claimed he has undertaken measures to improve cleanliness and has had another inspection recently which he hopes will show better results.

Southend Council confirmed a reinspection took place on June 18 and “significant” improvements were made, however the rating will remain the same until an unannounced inspection takes place.

Speaking to the Echo, the owner said: “We have taken all the necessary steps to make sure we improve our business and the cleanliness.

“It is all sorted now and we have already had another inspection which will be better.

“Customers do not need to worry at all, our food is safe and it is all good now.”

The hygiene officer’s report said: “At the time of the inspection there was visible water damage and mould growing on the ceiling directly over the equipment sink.

“Food was being stored on the floor of the walk-in chiller and on the floor in the rear area.

“A hand sink unit was being used for food storage and contained raw marinading chicken wings and raw burgers were stored on the same shelf and above ready-to-eat items in the walk-in chiller which could directly lead to cross-contamination."