“A dirty brown hand print” on the toilet door, puddles of grease and pizzas at risk of contamination were just some of the food safety issues discovered at a High Town takeaway.
The owner of Hajeez Peri Peri in High Town Road, Basharat Hussain, was fined more than £12,000 by Luton Magistrates Court for food safety offences on Monday.
Council food and safety officers visited the takeaway a number of times last year and in February this year and found Mr Hussain had failed to implement food safety controls.
In their visit in September 2012, they found pizzas at risk of contamination from a flaking foam substance coating an extraction duct directly above the food preparation table.
Grease was dripping down the walls into puddles on the floor, with scraps of food including chips and kebab meat floating in them. There was a dirty brown hand print on the lavatory door, and food containers and equipment were sticky and greasy. Officers were concerned about food storage, with raw meat next to ready to eat foods such as salad increasing the chance of cross contamination.
Staff were told to clean the premises and reorganise the fridges, and there was some improvement when officers returned on four subsequent occasions.
However, by February this year standards had slipped again, and officers saw staff preparing food without wearing aprons, a poor standard of cleaning with food spills and grease inside the fridges, puddles of grease once again behind the fryer and thick black dirt on the floor.
Mr Hussain pleaded guilty to eight hygiene offences at Luton Magistrates Court and was ordered Mr Hussain to pay fines totalling £12,000 plus a £15 victim surcharge and the council’s costs of £1,431.
Sara Hawkes, Technical Officer in the Council’s Food and Safety team, said: “Food law lays down basic cleanliness and hygiene standards for food businesses to help keep customers safe and healthy. Businesses that continue to ignore these standards face prosecution and fines.”
The business has been sold and is no longer run by Mr Hussain.