Former takeaway owner from St Albans admits food hygiene breaches
PUBLISHED: 15:37 17 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:37 17 May 2017
A former restaurant owner from St Albans has been ordered to pay more than £8,000 for showing 'wilful blindness' while failing to comply with hygiene regulations.
Kawsar Miah, 27, who works at Curry Garden in High Street, Potters Bar, initially pleaded not guilty to six counts of failing to comply with EU provision concerning food safety and hygiene, and two counts of failing to comply with hygiene improvement notices.
Miah, who lives in Dellfield, appeared in St Albans Magistrates’ court on Friday, May 12. He was persuaded to change his plea to guilty after magistrates warned him he could face substantial costs if found guilty after a not guilty plea, and as he had no legal representation.
William Winters, of Hertsmere borough council, prosecuting, said: “The premises is a takeaway establishment and was first inspected in December 2014.
“There was no food safety management system and a lack of staff training in food safety procedures. In January 2015 only partial compliance was achieved.”
According to Mr Winters, a further inspection on March 27, 2016 showed “an unacceptable practice of leaving frozen food deliveries in the yard alongside the rubbish”.
He said: “He was advised to raise and maintain food hygiene standards. There were dirty conditions and not enough effort made to prevent E-coli. There were poor conditions of food preparation equipment and poor pest control.
Magistrate David McCall said: “It has had a long and protracted history and Mr Miah has not helped himself. He had numerous opportunities to rectify the situation and he has failed to do so.”
Miah, who works at McDonald’s in London Colney, still works at Curry Garden, but his cousin has taken over the running of the restaurant.
Defending himself, Miah told magistrates he hoped they would take his limited means into account when ordering him to pay costs.
Mr McCall said: “The sequence of events here has been quite appalling. You failed to address official notices that were sent to you.
“We believe that you showed wilful blindness to the offending and failed to make any significant changes in that period. You can’t run a restaurant from which people ingest food and not be up to European standards.”
Miah was ordered to pay a total of £8,445.75, paying in instalments of £150 per week.
Curry Garden was given a food hygiene rating of ‘one’, meaning major improvement is necessary, in the most recent inspection in January this year. A spokeswoman for Hertsmere council confirmed that the standards have since improved, but the restaurant will need to apply for a re-inspection to be given a new rating.