Pictures show filthy conditions found at Albert Road restaurant
Health inspectors found filthy conditions at a popular restaurant in Albert Road.
The owner of Aubergine, a Bangladeshi/Indian restaurant in the Southsea street, pleaded guilty to food safety and hygiene offences in Portsmouth magistrates court.
Portsmouth City Council said that when an inspector made an unannounced visit to Aubergine last July, he discovered very poor cleanliness, with dirt, grease and food debris in many areas.
A spokesman for the council said: ‘Hand-washing facilities were not being maintained and bait for mice had been spilled near stored food.
‘The hand and food contact surfaces were filthy and there was no effective food safety management system.’
Magistrates heard that there were dirty food containers in a chiller, food debris under a cooker and rodent bait close to food, containers and cooking pots.
Shamsul Khan, 44, of Haslemere Road, Southsea, admitted five breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations, both as operator of the business and as sole director of the company behind it. He was fined £4,200 for all offences, and told to pay £1,481 in costs and victim surcharges.
Magistrates were told that after the July inspection he made a number of improvements, including renewing a defective storeroom floor, updating record-keeping, boosting staff training and hiring pest controllers.
But the council’s evidence was that he had a history of making improvements after inspections and then failing to manage the restaurant effectively. He had not followed advice from the council or put coaching into practice.
Cllr Robert New, the council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, said: ‘We have worked hard with the business to try to ensure they keep up food safety standards.
‘However, they failed to follow advice and let standards slide. For the protection of the public we had to take legal action.’