DIRTY conditions at a kebab shop have landed its director with a bill of more than £10,000 after she appeared in court.
Inspectors visiting Megabite in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth found raw burgers stored next to cooked ones, mice droppings near the oven and no hot running water in sinks, including in the toilet.
Stairs running down to the basement were uneven, gas and electric supplies had not been checked for more than a decade, basement walls were unable to be cleaned and drainage was not working so rainwater went on the floor. When an electrician did come, he disconnected the supply as it was so unsafe.
Minoo Sefidan, director of the kebab shop’s company Megabite Catering Limited, appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
The 60-year-old of Queen’s Grove, Southsea, pleaded guilty to 18 food safety and hygiene offences and three health and safety regulation charges. She also pleaded guilty to the same charges on behalf of the company.
Portsmouth City Council’s prosecutor Jenny Ager told magistrates how there had been a long history of problems at the takeaway dating back to 2003.
It’s very concerning, this lady has run this establishment for so long yet seems to be ignorant of what is required by lawProsecutor Jenny Ager
Inspectors who visited in January found corned beef nearly two months out of date and went back in February after telling the business to clean up.
But little work had been done and the business was closed voluntarily for 20 days. A further re-visit in March saw more outstanding work still to be done.
Ms Ager said council inspectors visited again just last week. She said: ‘Unfortunately while the city council does accept there have been significant improvements in relation to the building, food hygiene procedures have not significantly improved.’
She added: ‘It’s very concerning, this lady has run this establishment for so long yet seems to be ignorant of what is required by law.’
Claire Jackson, defending, said Mrs Sefidan had spent nearly £30,000 trying to rectify problems and had spent a year trying to get a landlord to fix building work the council said needed to be done.
She added: ‘It’s not a blatant disregard by this lady. She’s become aware of the real problem since January this year and is trying to put everything in place.’
The firm employs three temporary staff with a £65,000 turnover.
Outside court Mrs Sefidan said she felt she had been treated unfairly as she was unaware she could have asked for more time to get the work done.
She said: ‘We’ve improved so much.’
Chairman of the magistrates Thomas McCartney ordered Mrs Sefidan to pay £9,180 in fines and costs and the business must pay £1,300.
Mr McCartney also banned her from running Megabite under a hygiene prohibition order.
All the charges relate to the January 13 visit.
He said: ‘The offences happened over not only the inspection and earlier this year but over a long, long period of years to 2004.
‘There have been a large number of inspections and visits and we have to say that there’s only bene partial compliance.’