Tough action is needed to punish poor standards

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Anyone looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day with some culinary treats at a restaurant or takeaway may want to look away from today’s front page.

The disgusting conditions discovered by health officers at Khans Tandoori and Balti Takeaway in Eastney make for grim viewing.

Dead mice next to a sack of onions, droppings found in the kitchen and food stored in a dirty garden shed is enough to put you off takeaways for life.

With cooking programmes filling up television schedules by the week and more chefs becoming household names, the British attitude towards food has certainly evolved for the better in recent years.

But whatever the era, the shocking standards exposed at Khans Tandoori by Portsmouth City Council’s environmental health team are inexcusable.

Of course, there are hundreds of restaurants across our area which are a model of cleanliness and good hygiene.

But the story on page five shows that Khans is the latest in a line of takeaways to be named and shamed for filthy conditions.

The good news is that the fight is well and truly on to punish others who have the same shoddy standards.

As councillor Robert New, environment boss at the council, says: ‘It’s about protecting the public.’

We could not agree more. Paying someone to cook you food, safe in the knowledge it is done in clean and safe conditions, is a basic requirement for any food establishment.

Uncleanliness to the woeful levels revealed today is down to nothing but laziness or negligence and a blatant disregard for customers.

We back any moves to improve standards and prosecute anyone foolish enough to operate in a similar fashion.

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