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Rat droppings found in kitchen of Dudley takeaway

cabinet
"We will not hesitate to take legal action against food business proprietors who put the health of the public at risk" Cllr Peter Miller, cabinet member for health and wellbeing

Rat droppings were found in the kitchen of a takeaway in Dudley, a court has heard.

Dudley Council environmental health officers made the discovery during an inspection of New Pepitos in New Street in December last year, following anonymous complaints there were rats in the kitchen of the establishment.

The owners at the time, Mohammed Khaliq and Mohammed Zamir, pleaded guilty to breaches of health and hygiene regulations when they appeared at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court earlier this month.

Neither Khaliq or Zamir currently run the takeaway, which is now trading under a new name and by new proprietors not connected to the case.

The court heard after the discovery of rat droppings, officers immediately closed the premises using emergency closure powers. It was subsequently backed by a court order, which forced the closure of the business for six days while pest eradication works were completed.

Khaliq and Zamir both pleaded guilty to nine offences under food hygiene and safety regulations at court on October 5. These included the lack of adequate pest control procedures, failing to maintain the premises and equipment in good repair and condition, dirty surfaces and equipment and no hot water to a wash hand basin.

The two defendants also pleaded guilty to failing to register the food business, failing to implement a food safety management system and failing to train staff in food hygiene matters. The court heard that Khaliq and Zamir had only taken over the business a few days before the inspection and were inexperienced.

They were ordered to pay nearly £1,000 each – a fine of £450, costs of £485 and a £30 government victim surcharge.

Councillor Peter Miller, cabinet member responsible for health and wellbeing, said:

“Conditions found at this premises were most unsatisfactory, which led to these prosecutions. We much prefer to work with businesses to secure compliance with the law, but we will not hesitate to take legal action against the minority of food businesses proprietors who fail to meet their legal responsibilities and put the health of the public at risk.

“Over half of all food outlets in the borough are achieving the top hygiene rating of five and the vast majority achieve a satisfactory rating of three or more. I would urge consumers to check out hygiene ratings online as these will give consumers a glimpse of what is going on in the kitchen when they eat out, or behind the scenes at the places they shop.”

Dudley Council environmental health officers carry out regular inspections of food premises in the borough to advise food business owners and ensure they meet all food safety and hygiene requirements.

Ratings in Dudley can be viewed online at www.dudley.gov.uk/foodsafety or at www.food.gov.uk/ratings  

News Release Contact Information

Press office - pressoffice@dudley.gov.uk - 01384 815219