PICTURE GALLERY: Former takeaway owner ends up £10,000 out of pocket after trying to overturn food safety conviction

A court has rejected an appeal by a former takeaway owner against food safety convictions '“ and tripled the amount he has to pay in fines and costs.

Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 1:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th January 2018, 4:22 pm
Hygiene inspectors found poor conditions at the Lime Tree takeaway in Carisbrooke Road, Gosport, in 2015

Mahmud Salam’s convictions were upheld. And instead of having to pay £3,025, he will now have to pay £9,573.

Salam was prosecuted by Gosport Borough Council for nine offences at the Lime Tree takeaway in Carisbrooke Road, Gosport.

An inspection in December 2015 found the premises in a filthy condition, with people living in a storeroom and washing hanging up where food was prepared. The toilet and shower room were in a poor state of cleanliness and repair, and there was a bucket with used toilet paper in it.

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The kitchen was very dirty, with old food debris ground into the floor and piles of food swept into corners. Walls and other areas were splattered with greasy dirt and dried food. Chicken was defrosting in a sink with a dirty tray sat in the water and lots of food sat out at room temperature. Food safety paperwork had not been maintained.

The premises immediately closed, voluntarily, for deep cleaning and disposal of food. An inspection found a significant improvement in cleanliness when it reopened three days later. But an unannounced visit the following February found further food hygiene offences.

Salam, 42, of Woodward Close, Gosport, denied the offences, but was found guilty last October at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court.

Last week he appealed against his conviction at Portsmouth Crown Court, only to have the original conviction upheld. His fines were increased from £1,650 to £3,300, and costs were increased from £1,350 to £6,248. He also has to pay a £25 victim surcharge.

He has sold the takeaway business and it is now under new ownership.

Council leader Mark Hook said: ‘We were confident in our case, as there were clear breaches of the laws protecting the public.’