Wednesday 12th December 2018
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06/12/2018 - Luton restaurant owners prosecuted for food hygiene offences

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On Wednesday, 21 November at Luton Magistrates Court, the council prosecuted the owners of a Luton restaurant for food safety offences with both owners narrowly missing custodial sentences.

Business owners, Mohammed Idrees and Tariq Mahmood of Bishopscote Road, Luton, LU3 1PA and Avenue Grimaldi, Luton, LU3 1TJ, pleaded guilty to nine hygiene offences at Luton Magistrates Court. Magistrates ordered them each to pay fines of £4,800 each plus a £120 victim surcharge each, as well as a contribution of £764 each towards costs. Both food business owners have been prohibited from operating a food business for life.

When council food safety officers visited Al Bilal at 132 Dunstable Road on 31 January 2017 they found the shop was dirty and in a poor state of repair and fittings, fixtures, equipment and utensils used for food preparation were found to be unclean. There were also no procedures being implemented for the safe storage of cooked and raw food. Food was stored in unhygienic conditions with raw chicken stored above salad and those that handled food were not properly trained or supervised. In total nine breaches of the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations were noted.

The business has had a poor history of compliance and has received previous warnings. The owners had received Hygiene Improvement Notices in 2013 and criminal cautions for not complying with these in 2014. In March 2018 a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order was served to close the shop immediately as there was an imminent risk to health due to uncontrolled and untreated pest activity.

The district judge commented on poor standards of cleanliness, with disrepair and risk of cross contamination. He stated that there was a fundamental failure of food business management and that he had serious concerns about Idrees and Mahmood’s ability to ever be involved in the management of a food business again.

Councillor Aslam Khan, portfolio holder for Environmental Enforcement said: “Businesses that continue to ignore food hygiene requirements and have poor standards of cleanliness will face enforcement action including prosecutions and closure. We will not tolerate poor compliance. Already this year 16 businesses within Luton have been subject to hygiene emergency prohibition closures.

“A food hygiene rating of 5 is perfectly achievable and we are determined that food business operators who put profit before public safety and don’t take their duties seriously are called to account”.

 Both defendants are no longer involved in the food business.

 To check out the hygiene rating of your favourite food business, visit the food rating website​.

The Food, Safety and Environment Team carry out inspections in over 1,600 food premises in Luton, and are available to provide advice and guidance to food business owners on food hygiene.

A free food safety management system called Safer Food Better Business is available to download.
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