The food business operator of a Stockton take-away has today (30 September) been fined £3,661.90 for food hygiene offences.
35 year old Muhammad Saeed Khizar of Westbourne Street in Stockton, the operator of Pizza Feast on Bishopton Lane, was charged with six offences under Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
When Stockton Council's Environmental Health officers carried out a general food hygiene inspection in April they found:
Filthy food preparation and storage areas
Inadequate cleaning of various items of food equipment
A failure to put in place, implement and maintain permanent procedures based on hazard analysis and critical control principles
A failure to ensure hygienic hand drying facilities for the wash hand basins
A failure to ensure the wash hand basin in the food preparation area was properly connected to the drainage system and was provided with an adequate supply of hot and cold, or appropriately mixed water
Failed to ensure food handlers were adequately trained, instructed and/or supervised in food hygiene matters.
In mitigation, Mr Khizar's solicitor said that staffing issues as well as Mr Khizar's inexperience and naivety in managing a business had led to the poor conditions. He also brought photographs to Court to show the efforts Mr Khizar has made since the inspection to make the necessary improvements.
As well as a £3000 fine, Teesside Magistrates Court ordered Mr Khizar to pay £611.90 costs and a victim surcharge of £50.
Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, Councillor Steve Nelson, said: "Members of the public should be able to consume food from any outlet with the confidence that it is prepared following sound food hygiene practices which are continuously and effectively monitored.
"Stockton Council's Environmental Health Officers regularly inspect food premises and the results are shown on the Food Standards Agency website.
"I urge people to check this website or ask for the rating awarded to the food premises they visit to re-assure themselves that good standards of hygiene are upheld and appropriate food management systems are in place."
Stockton Council regularly inspects food premises and the results are shown on the Food Standards Agency website http://ratings.food.gov.uk/