Foul Portsmouth restaurant fined over dead mice in its kitchen

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FILTHY takeaways found cooking food in disgusting conditions have no excuse for poor hygiene and health officers will take action.

That’s the message from Portsmouth City Council after yet another takeaway was discovered to be operating to shameless standards.

Khans Tandoori and Balti Takeaway, Eastney Road, Prosecuted for dirty kitchen

Khans Tandoori and Balti Takeaway, Eastney Road, Prosecuted for dirty kitchen

Inspectors found a mouse-infested kitchen and food stored in a dirty shed at Khans Tandoori and Balti Takeaway in Eastney Road, Eastney.

The restaurant was ordered to pay more than £3,000 by magistrates.

Picture slideshow shows the scenes discovered by inspectors during the visit to Khans Tandoori and Balti Takeaway

A health officer found two dead mice next to a sack of onions and mouse droppings in the kitchen and in a goods store.

The kitchen’s washbasin was dry and had no soap, while dirt, grease and debris had built up where food was handled and stored.

Councillor Robert New, environment boss at the council, said: ‘There’s just no excuse for mice to be in kitchens.

‘It has been a priority since I took over. It’s about protecting the public.’

He added there has been a change of strategy at the council, with officers now tackling ‘medium to bad’ offenders as a priority, rather than looking at all restaurants in turn.

Imran Khan, of Harold Southsea Ltd, registered at Spur Road in Cosham, pleaded guilty to five charges under hygiene legislation on behalf of the restaurant at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court. Magistrates ordered the takeaway to pay a £1,800 fine, £1,117 in costs and a £36 victim surcharge.

Inspectors had found the staff toilet was in a poor condition and the state of the kitchen, washing-up area and a shed was poor during the visit by health officer Christopher Larkin in July.

The dead mice were found on sticky boards put out to catch the vermin.

Khans was forced to close to make emergency repairs and was allowed to reopen after it was cleaned, disinfected and food moved out of lean-to. Other improvements were later made.

Alan Cufley, head of environmental health at the council, said: ‘Food hygiene is of prime importance and we cannot allow poor standards and behaviour like this. When problems are found, we try to work with businesses to help them improve, but if necessary we will take appropriate action, including prosecution, to protect the public.’

The restaurant admitted failing to maintain the premises in good repair, failing to maintain them in a clean condition, failing to protect food from risk of contamination, failing to protect the kitchen from pest entry, and failing to control pests.

Previous prosecutions include Curry King in Spur Road, Cosham which was fined £1,500 after it was found to have an extremely poor standard of hygiene.

Last January, The Shalimar in London Road, North End, was fined £3,700 after inspectors discovered foul conditions and mice running over poppadoms.

Chinese takeaway Tiger King in Albert Road, Southsea was closed immediately in May 2013 by a horrified health inspector who found chicken defrosting in a dirty bucket.

On the change of strategy, Cllr New added: ‘We’ve got five officers for 2,000-plus restaurants. Let’s help the bad ones and leave the good ones alone. It’s not about closing anyone down, it’s helping them and protecting the public.’

He added a business support group is being set up to help other restaurants.

Mr Khan, who owns the takeaway, told The News last night: ‘It’s been cleaned up. Basically we have done everything that’s required. We have been trying to improve it for the future. We have never had it this bad before. We have taken measures to have a clean kitchen.’