An open bottle of milk found in the fridge at a restaurant in Stourbridge was nearly two weeks out of date, a court heard.
Environmental health officers also found dirty cooking equipment, walls and floors when they visited The Retreat in Oldswinford in July 2018.
The restaurant was given a zero star rating following the visit – but now has a top five star rating after a follow-up inspection in July this year.
Wayne Colbourne, aged 46, and Dean Foxall, 61, owners of the establishment in Hagley Road, pleaded guilty to nine offences under food hygiene regulations at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court earlier this month.
Colbourne was fined £480 and ordered to pay costs of £586.60 and a victim surcharge of £48. Foxall was fined £640 and ordered to pay costs of £586.60 and a victim surcharge of £64. The court heard that improvements had been implemented at the restaurant and that it now had the highest hygiene rating.
Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health & adult social care, said:
We work very closely with businesses to ensure they know the law and offer help and advice where we can.
However, in certain cases, prosecution is the only option in our bid to ensure people are protected when eating out in the Dudley borough and we have a zero tolerance of zero hygiene ratings.
It is pleasing to see that lessons have been learnt and that this restaurant is now achieving the top food hygiene rating.
Nearly half of all food outlets in the borough are achieving the top hygiene rating of 5 and the vast majority achieve a satisfactory rating of 3 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.
Help and advice for businesses about complying with the law is also available online on the council’s website at www.dudley.gov.uk