A business man was fined over £12,000 for poor hygiene standards at Ambala Sweet in Dunstable Road.
Khalil Amhad, owner of the premises, pleaded guilty to eight offences under food hygiene laws.
Food safety officers discovered kitchen walls stained black by the carbon produced during cooking samosas and other fried foods, and raw meat stored next to ready-to-eat food such as sweets, increasing the risk of cross-contamination.
Chopping boards used to prepare onions, ginger and pakoras were found to be very dirty, blackened with mould and stored underneath a prayer mat. Other equipment including fridge shelves, handles and containers were sticky to the touch and dirty.
The hand basin was not properly attached to the wall and raw meat was washed in the same sink as equipment and utensils.
Food was found stored in cardboard boxes.
Officers were very concerned by the poor standards of cleanliness, poor handling practices and poor hygiene knowledge among staff.
Cllr Mohammed Ashraf, portfolio holder for Environmental Health, said: “Food law lays down basic cleanliness and hygiene standards for food businesses to help keep customers safe and healthy. Cleaning and separating raw and ready to eat foods is not difficult or expensive but the consequences of getting it wrong can be life threatening. Businesses that continue to ignore these basic hygiene standards face prosecution and fines.”
The business was told to write down how they were going to ensure their food was safe; although this had been done in the past, pages were missing and staff were not following control measures necessary to prevent cross contamination.
Ahmad attended court and pleaded guilty to eight offences under the food hygiene laws on 11 November. Magistrates ordered Ahmad to pay £10,000 in fines, £120 victim surcharge and council costs of £2,031.
To check out the hygiene rating in any restaurant or takeaway, see www.food.gov.uk/ratings