Luton Bosses Fined for filthy restaurant

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Bosses of a former Indian restaurant have been fined after food safety officers found their premises in a filthy state.

When Luton Borough Council food safety officers visited Khan’s at 215 Selbourne Road in July 2016, they found no soap or hand drying facilities at the kitchen basin. There was no hot water at the basins in the staff lavatory.

Standards of cleaning and maintenance of structure were extremely poor throughout, with filthy food containers and kitchen equipment.

Officers noted dirty finger marks on doors, food spills, dirt and debris on shelves and surfaces, thick grease on floors and the extraction canopy, and lime-scale build up around taps. A partly smoked roll-up cigarette butt was lying on a shelf amongst dirt and food spills.

Items of equipment were also dirty, officers noted that plastic tubs containing food ingredients were sticky and dirty: some of them had crusty food remains dried onto them. The microwave oven was splashed with dried on food spills and the dials on the front were sticky. A food cutting board was blackened with dirt, and mould was seen growing in the rubber seals on fridge doors.

Some equipment was in poor condition: a fridge had been repaired with cardboard, and rubber door seals were split and perished.

The flooring was in poor conditions, officers noted areas where the vinyl floor covering had been damaged and repaired with sticky tape, which itself had become damaged.

The lavatories were in poor condition: the lavatory pans were soiled and the paint was peeling from the walls which were mouldy and had fungal growths growing from them.

Raw meat was stored amongst ready-to-eat foods in the fridges, posing a risk of cross-contamination, and there was no effective stock control system for cooked food.

The business closed in 2016 and is no longer in operation.

Business owners, Mr Sohail Rafiq, of 37 Maidenhall Road, Luton and Mr Ajaz Khan, of 48 Sherwood Road, Luton pleaded guilty to 7 hygiene offences at Luton Magistrates Court on 8 August. Magistrates ordered them each to pay fines of £750 plus a £75 victim surcharge each, as well as a contribution of £407.76 towards the council costs.

Councillor Aslam Khan, Portfolio Holder for Place and Infrastructure said: “Food law lays down basic cleanliness, structural and hygiene standards for food businesses to help keep customers safe and healthy. These standards can be easily achieved by any business and should not require any great expense other than physical effort to remove dirt and grease and to maintain surfaces and equipment in good condition. It is inexcusable not to provide basic facilities such as soap at hand basins. Businesses that continue to ignore food hygiene requirements face prosecution and fines.”

The premises is now known as Zaheers Venue & Buffet. The Food Business Operator is a Mr Mohammad Zaheer and there is no connection to the previous business.

The Food, Safety and Environment Team carry out inspections in over 1,700 food premises in Luton, and are available to provide advice and guidance to food business owners on food hygiene. For food hygiene information go to www.luton.gov.uk/food

To check out the hygiene rating of your favourite food business, go to www.food.gov.uk/ratings