'Major changes' made to St Albans pizza restaurant fined for bad hygiene
PUBLISHED: 17:25 28 August 2015
A pizza chain spokesman has sought to reassure local customers that major changes have been made to its St Albans store to ensure hygiene regulations are being met, in the wake of court action.
The Herts Advertiser revealed last week that a former franchisee of Pizza GoGo in London Road was ordered to pay the district council £2,000 after breaching hygiene rules.
Laxmi Reddy, 39, of High Wycombe, Bucks, appeared at St Albans Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on August 13 after pleading guilty to five breaches of health, food safety and hygiene regulations.
Magistrates told Reddy that he would have to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.
A hygiene prohibition order was also served, in line with a request from the council, banning Reddy from operating a food business for a minimum of six months.
Antonio Nunez, speaking on behalf of the independent franchise chain, told this paper that Pizza GoGo’s head office “made a decision to terminate the franchisee agreement with Laxmi Reddy on October 6, 2014.
“He was our franchisee from January 10, 2011, and had failed to provide the level of quality and service that was demanded from him by management at Pizza GoGo.”
Antonio said that since ending the franchisee agreement, the firm had refurbished the entire store at a cost of over £30,000, replacing all equipment that was not up to standard.
He added: “The entire store has been rearranged to bring everything to the front of house and ensure visibility of all activity taking place is possible for all customers. It reopened its doors on November 24 last year.
“Head office continued to run the store to ensure that systems put in place were being followed by the book, before training a new franchisee to take over.”
Antonio said that the store is checked regularly, and “we are happy with how it is now being run and will ensure that all regulations are followed by the staff in store above and beyond what is necessary.
“The damage that Laxmi Reddy has done to our brand is disappointing, and we welcome the [magistrates’] decision to not allow him to be involved in the food business for six months and we hope that he chooses a different path for his future ventures as the food service industry is clearly not for him.”