The owners of a “dirty” takeaway in Bury Park narrowly avoided prison after they were prosecuted for NINE food hygiene offences.
On Wednesday, November 21, at Luton Magistrates Court, the council prosecuted the owners of a Al Bilal restaurant on 132 Dunstable Road.
Owners Mohammed Idrees, of Bishopscote Road, and Tariq Mahmood, of Avenue Grimaldi, Luton, pleaded guilty to the offences and were ordered to pay total costs of £5,684 each. Both owners have been banned from running a food business for life.
When council food safety officers visited Al Bilal January 31, 2017, they found the shop was dirty and in a poor state of repair. Fittings, fixtures, equipment and utensils used for food preparation were found to be unclean.
There were also no procedures implemented for the safe storage of cooked and raw food.
Food was stored in unhygienic conditions with raw chicken above salad and those that handled food were not properly trained or supervised. In total nine breaches of the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations were noted.
The business has had a poor history of compliance and has received previous warnings.
The owners had received Hygiene Improvement Notices in 2013 and criminal cautions for not complying with these in 2014.
In March 2018 a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order was served to close the shop immediately as there was an imminent risk to health due to uncontrolled and untreated pest activity.
Cllr Aslam Khan, portfolio holder for environmental enforcement, said: “Businesses that continue to ignore food hygiene requirements and have poor standards of cleanliness will face enforcement action including prosecutions and closure.
“We will not tolerate poor compliance. Already this year 16 businesses within Luton have been subject to hygiene emergency prohibition closures.
“A food hygiene rating of 5 is perfectly achievable and we are determined that food business operators who put profit before public safety and don’t take their duties seriously are called to account.”
Both defendants are no longer involved in the food business.
To check out the hygiene rating of your favourite food business, visit the food rating website www.food.gov.uk.
The Food, Safety and Environment Team carry out inspections in over 1,600 food premises in Luton, and are available to provide advice and guidance to food business owners on food hygiene. A free food safety management system called Safer Food Better Business is available to download from www.food.gov.uk.