Bosses at three takeaways in Dudley borough have landed court bills after inspectors uncovered a string of hygiene problems.
Dudley Council’s environmental health officers carried out an inspection of Anna’s sandwich shop in Parsons Street, Dudley, in February 2018 after receiving a customer complaint and discovered a rat infestation inside the shop.
The business was closed using emergency powers backed by a court order and remained shut for 11 days whilst pest treatment and proofing works were completed and the premises thoroughly cleaned and sanitised.
The food business proprietors Madge Withington (62) and Donna Hicken (51) pleaded guilty to five offences under food safety and hygiene regulations at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on February 21. The offences included failing to have adequate procedures in place to control pests, failing to implement a food safety management system and failing to maintain the premises in clean condition and good repair.
The pair were fined £533 each and ordered to pay costs of £376 each and victim surcharges of £53. Dudley Council has confirmed that the premises went on to obtain a hygiene rating of 3 (generally satisfactory) after re-opening.
In a separate case, council inspectors also visited Pizzalicious on Halesowen Road, Halesowen in January 2018 and found dirty conditions and staff untrained.
The manager of the premises Kiarash Barazesh (45) pleaded guilty to 8 offences under food safety and hygiene regulations at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on February 21.
The offences included failing to register the food business, failing to implement a food safety management system, premises and equipment not kept clean and in good repair and failing to ensure food handlers received adequate training.
Barazesh was fined £666 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a victim surcharge of £67. Dudley Council has confirmed that the premises is now registered and trading as Peri Licious with a food hygiene rating of 2 (improvement necessary).
In a third case, heard at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on the same day, Wai Lin Yau (49), the proprietor of Pak Lok Chinese Takeway on Manor Lane Halesowen pleased guilty to 6 offences under the food safety and hygiene regulations.
The court heard that council inspectors visited the takeaway in September 2017 and found that walls, floors, a cooking range and a wash hand basin were dirty, walls and a floor surface in a store room were not maintained in good condition and equipment including plastic containers and chopping boards were dirty.
Yau had failed to implement an adequate food safety management system. He was fined £1,200 with £2,610 costs and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £120. Dudley Council has confirmed that the business is no longer trading.
Councillor Gaye Partridge, cabinet member responsible for communities, said:
Conditions found at these three 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.
I want to reassure the public that the vast majority of food businesses in the Dudley borough are well run with over 90 per cent achieving satisfactory or higher food hygiene ratings. Those with unsatisfactory ratings are revisited by our food safety officers to ensure that necessary improvements have been carried out.
Where there is an imminent risk to the health of the public, emergency action backed by court orders will be taken to prevent the business trading until the serious health risk is eliminated. 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.