Owner of mouse droppings Southsea restaurant vows: '˜I will get a five hygiene rating'

THE owner of a restaurant fined over its poor hygiene conditions has hit back saying he will win a top hygiene rating.

Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 7:53 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 7:59 pm
Babul Miah in his now-cleaned kitchen at Bombay Express in Albert Road, Southsea. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Babul Miah, 57, was left reeling after being stung with a £2,800 fine when he admitted seven charges at Portsmouth Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

The businessman, who has run Bombay Express Balti House for 25 years, said he was not given enough time to fix the problems.

Portsmouth City Council hygiene inspectors found mouse droppings at the Albert Road business, along with bad conditions, dirty food containers and not enough in place to stop mice.

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Babul Miah in his now-cleaned kitchen at Bombay Express in Albert Road, Southsea. Picture: Habibur Rahman

In court, Miah, of St Davids Road, said: '˜I'm very, very confused '“ yes I have done mistakes trying to run it on my own and things went wrong.

'˜I have rectified them straight away. I spent a lot of money repairing it and everything.'

He previously told The News he spent £20,000 on cleaning up and fixing his Southsea restaurant.

'˜It's up to date but business has gone down,' the businessman and landlord said.

As reported yesterday, he faced magistrates in court after hygiene officers inspected his premises in September last year, handing him a zero rating amid a 10-day voluntarily closure.

Bombay Express was reassessed in January and handed a three rating, with him hoping to earn a four or five in future.

He was criticised by magistrate Nigel Dedman who said he was '˜dismayed' Miah '˜strived' for a three rating.

Mr Dedman said: '˜You should be good or very good, once you have got that social media will follow you and you'll get clientele.'

Miah said he created Bombay Express with his business partner, who left in 2016.

The inspection was '˜bad timing' for Miah as his father died last year, he said.

'˜It's been running smoothly now and cleanly, obviously the health inspector has visited several times to try and see how I'm doing '“ and I'm doing fine now.

'˜All my customers who have visited my restaurant now '“ even today '“ or in the future if they want to see my kitchen or restaurant they can call me and visit my kitchen, my store room, my stock, fridge, freezer '“ they're welcome to do that.

'˜They've done that before and they're welcome to do that now.'

On top of the £2,800 fine, Miah had to pay £1,279 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

He added: '˜I apologise for what happened.'

He also said the nature of the older property meant it was difficult to proof against pests.

'˜I would love them to come to my restaurant, without them I would not be here, the customer is my bread and butter,' he added.

'˜They know that I have given them over the years and years the food that is healthy and it's great food for the customers.

'˜It's been cooked thoroughly myself and I use the good quality chef there now who is cooking,' he added.

'˜Hopefully the next visit by the health authority it will be four or five at least.'