A man has been fined £15,000 after he confessed to making a "huge lapse of judgement" by allowing significant hygiene breaches to occur at the takeaway restaurant he owned in Essex.
Mohammed Ahmed, 32, of Harlow was hit with the financial penalty after investigators found he had committed a number of food hygiene offences, the Harlow Star reports. He was subsequently prosecuted by Harlow Council and served with the punishment.
Environmental inspectors visited the Mr Chicken store on several occasions throughout 2011 and 2012 and found a number of issues that concerned them greatly. These primarily related to the food safety methods that were being employed at the eatery.
For example, on one occasion they discovered raw meat was being stored next to bread, while other problems encountered at the establishment included inadequate hand washing facilities and large amounts of grease that had gathered on the kitchen floor and on equipment.
Mr Ahmed was also failing to ensure that checks were carried out on the temperature of hot and cold food, while he failed to act on the urgent notices handed to him. Indeed, on a later inspection in October last year, the inspectors realised issues that were first raised more than a year earlier had still not been resolved.
Chairman of the bench at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court Peter Rose said: "It is fortuitous no one fell ill or even worse died due to the appalling state of the premises and it is especially appalling it took so long to overcome matters. The only redeeming factor is it is now been done."
Mr Ahmed spoke to the newspaper and said he should not have allowed matters to get out of hand in the way they did and that he had now spent almost £13,000 on the building. This included on the cleaning processes required to get it back up to scratch.
He added this means the food he serves is now completely safe and not a risk to consumers.