A HAMPSHIRE Chinese restaurant which was slammed by inspectors is now under new management and have improved their hygiene rating.

A recent report from environmental health chiefs, who inspected the Water Margin this month, gave it a new score of 4 out of 5.

Inspectors who visited the Water Margin in North Baddesley last year found a tin of mouldy food, rust in the fridge and cooked chicken stored in boxes which previously held raw duck and gave the Chinese eatery a 1 out of 5 rating.

When inspectors visited the restaurant in March, staff were said to be untrained in food safety and the person responsible for training and records had also not received training.

Now the restaurant's owners, Nicole Tam and Kit Kwok Tam, have hired new management team and have turned the restaurant around by holding routine daily checks and extensive catering training.

Every staff member now has certificates of hygiene and catering training.

Kit Tam said he was delighted with the new rating.

He said the only reason the health chiefs didn't give them their prestigious five star rating was because their pile of daily check forms was not long enough yet.

Mr Tam added: "At the time of the March inspection, my mother became very ill and I was with her.

"I asked my kitchen staff if they could run it while I was in and out of hospital.

"I wasn't there during the inspection and we were given a 1 out of 5."

Mr Tam's mother unfortunately passed away in the summer and has since taken a stance in the restaurant to get back to their high rating.

As previously reported, during his sentencing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court last month, the 59-year-old was hit with a court bill of more than £3,500.

Magistrates fined Tam a total of £2,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £1536.

He was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170.

Mr Tam said he was "shocked" when he received the court letter but said he took full responsibility when questioned in court.

He added: "Since the new rating, we have had great feedback from customers and we are very happy, we will continue to do what is best for the customers and food safety comes first."

Nicole Tam said: "We are fully confident customers come back following the news."

The Chinese restaurant and takeaway was inspected on January 8, 2020.