A STAFFORD takeaway has been closed and the owner banned from operating a food business after a catalogue of hygiene breaches.
Nural Rashid, who runs the Akash takeaway in Newport Road, admitted seven charges relating to breaches of food hygiene regulations. He was ordered to pay costs of £1,621.
The offences include two charges of failing to keep food protected against contamination and failing to keep the premises clean. They related to a period between March and April this year.
Simon Turner, prosecuting for Stafford Borough Council, said inspectors had visited the premises several times between February and April this year.
The court heard they found raw meat and poultry next to ready-to-eat foods such as cheese and yoghurts in a drink display fridge - a major risk of cross contamination.
He added there was no soap or hand drying facilities and a roll of towel was “absolutely filthy.” Magistrates in Stafford also heard cooked rice was left out for hours at room temperature; Rashid claimed to be too busy to get soap or clean cloths; and the microwave was not clean and didn’t appear to have been cleaned for some time. No food safety checks had been recorded for around 12 months.
Mr Turner added: “It has taken from March until now for him to wake up and realise he has got to keep his premises clean and safe and as yet he just has not done so.” He told the court the authority had no confidence the business had made improvements that would ensure food was safe to eat.
“He just needed to buy some soap, keep the premises clean and store food cleanly but he was unwilling to put in the effort,” he said.
Mr Turner asked magistrates to impose a hygiene prohibition order which would prevent Rashid from running any food business.
Joanna Clark, defending the 36-yearold, told the court he was £50,000 in debt and had had to make people redundant because of the economic situation and was struggling to run the business on his own. She said he had made some improvements since July.
“This wasn’t deliberate actions. Everything got on top of him, that’s what led to the offences,” she said.
Chairman of the bench Anthony Higgs imposed a food hygiene prohibition order banning Rashid from running another food business.
He also imposed a 180-hour, 12- month community order and costs of £1,621.
“Those food hygiene regulations are in force to protect the public from potential harm and it’s our responsibility to act on their behalf in these matters.
“We feel under all the circumstances it’s proper to impose a food hygiene prohibition order.”