A TAKEAWAY that has been serving Southampton for more than 20 years has been slammed following a hygiene inspection.

The Raj in Romsey Road was given a 1 out of 5 in a damning report.

This means major improvement is necessary after an inspector found doors "smeared with dirt" and other serious hygiene hazards.

Daily Echo:

Food was not being stored at a sufficient temperature, there was not a chopping board system in place to prevent cross contamination, and the kitchen was cluttered with items such as paint and fly killer spray.

The report reads: "The standard of cleaning needs to be improved. The following in particular were dirty: the contact surfaces, such as equipment; handles and light switches; the waste pipes below the wash hand basin and adjacent to the sink were dirty; the doors and frames including the WC door were smeared with dirt; the wall at high level in the middle room was contaminated with cobwebs; the wash hand basin was dirty with food debris and grease; the exterior of the plastic food storage bins in the storage area were dirty with food debris; the floor to the storage area particularly beneath the racking was wet and dirty."

Staff have also been told that all basins must have soap and a hygienic means of hand drying, as this was not implemented at the takeaway.

The building was found to have gaps and holes to external doors, windows, pipes and drains.

This provides an entrance for pests and the report states: "There were gaps between the wall and the frame to the lower right-hand side of the door in the storage area, and a further gap to the wall at the ceiling level to the far left of the rear door in the storage room.

"Fill or cover these areas, and any others found, as to minimise entry by pests."

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Other items cluttering the kitchen included wood stain, a hair brush and non-used items such as excess packaging.

According to its website, The Raj was named British Curry Award Winning Chef in 2012.

"We take pride in our products and services; each individual order is freshly made," says the homepage. "We always try our best to prepare it to the highest quality."

The Echo has contacted the takeaway for a comment.