Two Bury Park takeaway owners have been fined thousands of pounds after hygiene inspectors discovered filthy kitchens that posed a serious danger to human health.
Cockroaches, grease-covered equipment and hazardous food handling methods were found when council inspectors visited Al Badar, at 237 Dunstable Road, and Halal Fried Chicken and Daawat, at 130 Dunstable Road.
A routine inspection at Al Badar found the building structure and equipment were filthy and covered with food debris and grease.
Staff were preparing food without wearing protective over-clothing, and none of them had food hygiene training.
Although there were two basins for hand washing, there was no soap at one basin and the other was obstructed so it could not be used.
Ready-to-eat food such as salad and sweets were open to contamination from raw meat and dirt, and food was kept for long periods before being sold.
There were no procedures in place to ensure food was safe, and staff were washing raw meat in the kitchen sink, splashing dangerous food poisoning bacteria onto plates and equipment used for sweets and salads.
A follow-up visit in August 2012 found this was still happening.
On Monday (January 7), operator Shabir Ahmed pleaded guilty to eight hygiene offences and a health and safety offence at Luton Magistrates Court. He was fined £3,015, plus a £15 victim surcharge, and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £1,243.
At Halal Fried Chicken and Daawat, officers found live cockroaches in the kitchen and servery area.
The premises were filthy with grease and food debris,and there were also dead cockroaches floating in grease on the top of a fryer.
There was a lack of hand washing facilities and dangerous electrical equipment.
The owner of the, Mohammed Zaheer, closed the premises and co-operated fully with officers before re-opening on 12 December 2011.
Halal Fried Chicken and Daawat has subsequently stopped trading.
Zaheer pleaded guilty to four food hygiene offences and a health and safety offence. He was fined £3,350 in total, plus a £15 victim surcharge, and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £1,411.
Councillor Mohammed Ashraf, responsible for public health at Luton Borough Council, said: “Keeping a kitchen clean, safe and pest free is vital for food safety.
“The council takes the protection of public health very seriously and will not tolerate businesses that put local residents’ health at risk.”