The owners of a Stockton takeaway have been fined more than £8000 after their premises were found to be in breach of numerous food hygiene rules.
Environmental Health officers from Stockton Council visited Chilli Pepper on Dovecot Street in November 2013 to investigate a complaint about rat activity.
The premises were filthy with food debris and grease build up throughout, the boiler was broken which meant there was no hot water at the sink or wash hand basin and there was evidence that rats were present in the kitchen and the servery.
Today (20 May 2014) 36 year old Mohammad Nadeem of Windermere Road in Stockton and 46 year old Amjad Gulraiz of Grange Road in Thornaby admitted eight offences under Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 and Section 17 of the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 at Teesside Magistrates Court.
Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, Councillor Steve Nelson, said: “The conditions found at this takeaway were entirely unacceptable. Mr Nadeem and Mr Gulraiz were responsible for ensuring that good hygiene practices were followed and they did not do so and as a result put their customers at significant risk.”
In mitigation Mr Nadeem and Mr Gulraiz said family illness had meant they couldn’t spend the time required at the business and the Manager had let standards slip and had not informed them of the problems.
Mr Nadeem was fined £3200 with £694.26 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.
Mr Gulraiz was fined £3200 with £694.26 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.
Following advice from the Council’s Environmental Health officers, Mr Nadeem and Mr Gulraiz voluntarily closed Chilli Pepper from 28 November 2013 to 2 December 2013 so that they could address the imminent risk to health. A number of visits have been made to the premises following this inspection to ensure standards were improved. The premises will continue to be inspected by the Environmental Health team on a regular basis to monitor the standards and ensure the improvements are maintained.
Anyone who would like to check the results of food hygiene inspections across the Borough and further afield can visit www.food.gov.uk/ratings