Food hygiene offences have cost a Stockton food business operator more than £3,000.
Mohammed Azad Hadi of Scarborough Street, Thornaby and food business operator of The Royal Bengal, Prince Regent Street, in Stockton was prosecuted by Stockton Council yesterday (Tuesday 26 May).
The 35-year-old appeared at Teesside Magistrates Court charged with eight offences under Section 19 of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
Magistrates heard the Council’s Environmental Health officers visited the premises on 15 October 2014 to carry out a general food hygiene inspection.
They found the food preparation areas, storage areas and equipment in a filthy condition with dirt and grease on the walls, sink, shelves, doors and floors, and food debris underneath and behind equipment.
Wall cladding was missing which exposed bare breezeblock and brickwork meaning surfaces could not be cleaned and sanitised.
The wash hand basin in the food preparation area had no hygienic hand-drying facilities. There was also a failure to put a suitable food safety management system in place.
In mitigation, Mr Hadi said he had hired professionals to run the business for him but they had let him down. He is taking steps to clean, repair and replace equipment and fixtures. The kitchen is cleaned daily and the premises closes one day a week for further cleaning.
Mr Hadi was fined £2,400 in total for the eight offences and ordered to pay £814.34 in costs plus a £30 victim surcharge.
Councillor Steve Nelson, Stockton Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “The Council always offers advice and training to local food business operators and their employees to maintain good food hygiene practices.
“Sadly on this occasion the defendant failed to meet the requirements and as a result his customers were put at risk.
“The Council has a duty to protect consumers and we will continue to carry out regular checks on all local food premises to ensure that high standards are maintained.”