Pigs trotters found stored on rusty rack by inspectors

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A SHOP owner was hauled before the courts after inspectors found he washed and flamed raw pork trotters on a rusty rack.

Florin Ispas admitted four hygiene charges following an inspection of Best European Food & Drink in Albert Road, Southsea.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard a customer complained sparking a hygiene inspection on December 19 last year.

Shocked officials from Portsmouth City Council immediately asked magistrates to ban Ispas, 34, from producing the pork trotters under an emergency prohibition.

That was granted but later lifted on January 23 when a hygiene inspector revisited the premises where there had been a degree of compliance.

Prosecutor Robert Harding said: ‘In essence the equipment was not effectively clean to minimise the risk of contamination.

‘It was a very poor state of cleanliness with metal racks that trotter were washed and flamed.

He added the racks that were in the yard were ‘rusted’.

Mr Harding said ‘the risk is scary’, adding hygiene cases had a ‘ripple effect’ on other high street food businesses.

Addressing Ispas, chairman of the magistrates’ bench Philip Burns said: ‘This case is extremely serious, you do understand?

‘In our opinion, although you pleaded guilty, you put members of the public in the local community at risk.’

Quizzed by Mr Burns if he knew about hygiene regulations, Ispas said: ‘Now yeah.’

Asked again if he had known about them before, Ispas said: ‘I’ve done a course for hygiene.’

Mr Burns adjourned sentencing Ispas until December 5.

Representing himself Ispas, who said it was different in ‘my country’, added: ‘I’m so sorry for that.’

He said he ‘didn’t know I did something wrong’ by selling the pork trotters, mainly to the Romanian community.

Ispas admitted four charges under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations. They were:

- Metal racks, food preparation boards and food containers were not effectively cleaned as to minimise any risk of contamination.

- Stages of the production and processing of pigs trotters for sale did not protect against contamination rendering food.

- As food business operator did not ensure that food handlers were supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activity, namely the handling of raw and cooked meats.

- As food business operator had failed to put in place, implement and maintain permanent safety procedures based on HACCP principles in production of pigs trotters for sale.