Bosses at a restaurant in Dudley and a takeaway in Netherton have landed court bills totalling more than £30,000 after inspectors uncovered a string of hygiene problems.
When Dudley Council’s environmental health officers carried out an inspection of the Rose of Kashmir restaurant, Wolverhampton Street, Dudley, in August 2017 they found a series of hygiene breaches.
There were holes in the rear storeroom, missing and cracked wall tiles and dirty equipment including a chest freezer and food storage bins. Raw chicken was being stored above cooked items in the fridge.
The documented food safety management system had not been maintained and there were inadequate procedures to deal with pests. A further inspection in March 2018 revealed similar problems and found raw chicken being stored above cooked rice in the fridge.
At Dudley Magistrates Court on December 5, the owners of Rose of Kashmir (UK) Ltd failed to appear and the case was heard in their absence. The company was found guilty of sixteen offences under food hygiene and safety regulations, nine offences from August 2017 and seven from March 2018.
It was fined £16,000 with £801 costs and a victim surcharge of £170.
Manager Faiz Rasul, aged 54, had pleaded guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing on October 3 and was fined £2,880 with £801 costs and a victim surcharge of £170.
In a separate case, council inspectors visited Balti 4 U in Halesowen Road, Netherton, in November 2017 where they found dirty conditions, including doors, food storage shelving and wall tiles in the kitchen.There was dirty equipment, including a chopping board, microwave and hot cabinet, along with a defective microwave and food storage containers.
Food was stored in the lobby leading to the toilets, there was inadequate lighting in the kitchen and raw meat was stored next to ready-to-eat foods in the fridge. The documented food safety management system had not been maintained.
Owners Balti 4 U Ltd failed to attend Dudley Magistrates Court on December 5 to answer seven charges under food safety and hygiene regulations and were found guilty in absence and fined £10,500 with £1,140 costs and a victim surcharge of £170.
Dudley Council confirmed both the restaurant and takeaway are now trading under new names and being run by new owners not connected to the case.
Councillor Cathy Bayton, cabinet member responsible for health and wellbeing, said:
Conditions found at these two premises were totally unsatisfactory, with our inspectors finding multiple breaches at both premises.
Every day our environmental health team works diligently to protect residents from harm and we will not hesitate to prosecute owners who fail to meet their legal responsibilities and put the health of the public at risk.
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.
More than 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.
Ratings in Dudley can be viewed online at www.dudley.gov.uk/foodsafety or at www.food.gov.uk/ratings