Suspended prison sentence for Luton takeaway owner

Dirty takeaway
Dirty takeaway

The owner of People’s Choice takeaway, Luton, pleaded guilty to 16 hygiene offences and four health and safety offences at Luton Magistrates court.

Horace Powell, owner of the New Bedford Road takeaway, was issued a four month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and 140 hours unpaid community work.

He also has to pay council costs of £1949 and a victim surcharge of £80. The business is now under new management.

Food and safety officers found a solid fuel barbeque being used in an enclosed kitchen with inadequate ventilation, when they visited in December 2012. The owner was issued a probation notice to ban use of the barbeque, he was also told to clean the kitchen and improve the poor food hygiene practices.

In July and August 2013 officers visited the takeaway five times, each time they found bad hygiene and poor cleaning standards.

On one occasion, two dead mice were lying beside the chest freezer and there were mouse droppings on the floor.

Upright freezer shelves were filthy with a sticky brown substance dripping down the sides. Puddles of dirty brown liquid had frozen into brown ice in the bottom of the chest freezer, with a bloody substance dripping down the side.

Some of the wall tiles were completely shattered and patched up with wire wool.

Cooked food was stored below 45 degrees centigrade, allowing bacteria to flourish, and during one visit the hot water boiler was broken so there was no hot water and filthy cloths were being used to wipe preparation surfaces.

Magistrates commented that although these were serious offences, Mr Powell seemed to be in denial of the possible consequences to the health and safety of his staff and customers.