DISGUSTING conditions were discovered in a takeaway when a horrified customer shopped the owner after seeing a mouse run into the kitchen.
Indian Ocean has been ordered to pay out more than £6,700 after its co-director Matab Uddin was banned from running any food business over its filthy kitchen.
An inspector visited the Fratton Road takeaway and found no hot running water for washing up and cooking pots on the floor near rat poison, magistrates were told.
Portsmouth City Council prosecuted the firm and magistrates were shown photographs of mouse droppings on a kitchen table, rotting onions in the yard – and a dirty phone used for taking orders next to where food was prepared.
Councillor Robert New, community safety head at the council, said: ‘We work with restaurants to help them achieve high standards, but if they put customers at risk like this we will not hesitate to take court action. We want people to be able to go out and eat a meal without fearing that their health will be harmed.’
Mr Uddin appeared in court on behalf of the business and pleaded guilty to six counts under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013.
The accumulation of food, dirt and debris made it quite clear that no cleaning at all had been done for some timeProsecutor Paul Fairley
Prosecutor Paul Fairley told magistrates: ‘The accumulation of food, dirt and debris made it quite clear to [the inspector] that no cleaning at all had been done for some time.’
Mr Fairley added Mr Uddin claimed the boiler had broken on the day of the inspection.
One worker even used a general use chopping board to prepare raw meat in front of the inspector, Mr Fairley said.
He added: ‘Clearly there was a very real risk of cross-contamination.’
The business was closed on the day of the inspection – August 27 last year – and only reopened a day later when the boiler was fixed and cleaning had been done.
But the same officer returned just a day before the court hearing last week and saw a filthy cloth on a chopping board, dirty food preparation areas and unacceptable levels of cleanliness.
In an interview, Mr Uddin claimed cleaning was being done every one to two weeks – but quickly admitted it hadn’t been done.
The court also heard there was little being done to keep up the maintenance of the Victorian building. The firm previously had a hygiene rating of five but that plummeted to zero in 18 months.
Mr Uddin told the court: ‘I did improve cleanliness and redecorated my shop.
‘Since my rating has gone down to zero my business has deteriorated, I’m finding it difficult to earn any business.’
Mr Uddin pleaded guilty to:
* not maintaining premises in a clean condition
* not maintaining premises in good repair
*having inadequate hand washing facilities.
*the sink was dirty and scaled and was not and was not provided with hot running water
*equipment was not cleaned and kept in such good order, repair and condition as to minimise any risk of contamination
*failing to put in place, implement and maintain food safety procedure.
The business was fined £700 for the first five and £1,500 for the last, with a victim surcharge of £120 and told to pay the council’s £1592.31 costs.
Mr Uddin was given a hygiene prohibition order banning him from running any food business.
*Watch the video slideshow on this story to see pictures taken by environmental health inspectors at the premises