A Lancaster-based takeaway business and its owner have been fined £7,322 including victim surcharge and £1,000 costs after pleading guilty to breaching food hygiene regulations.
Rudolf Collaku, of West Street, Lancaster, appeared before magistrates on Monday charged with seven offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
His company, Klos 2017 Ltd, was also charged with three offences under the same regulations.
Both Collaku and the company pleaded guilty to all the charges, following unannounced routine visits to the Flames takeaway shop on Rosemary Lane, Lancaster
Magistrates heard that food hygiene inspectors from Lancaster City Council visited the premises in November 2017 and January 2018.
They found that the premises and equipment were in a dirty condition, wall tiles had popped off the wall and had not been replaced, handles were contaminated with food debris, and that the hot water could not be operated unless an isolation valve was opened using a spoon.
In addition, the staff working at the premises had not been given appropriate training in food safety and hygiene and sufficient materials for washing hands were not present at the business premises.
The court heard the business has recently made improvements to the way in which it operates and has invested in new equipment and made improvements to the premises.
Prior to prosecution the business had failed to receive a food hygiene rating of above 2 and had been subject to a number of complaints since 2014. A rating of anything less than 3 out of a top rating of 5 is considered unsatisfactory
Coun Andrew Warriner, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and housing, said: “All food businesses have a fundamental duty to their customers to provide products that have been prepared in clean and hygienic premises.
“Whilst I am pleased that the vast majority of our food businesses achieve a food hygiene rating of at least 3, and that 91% of our food businesses have a rating of 4 or 5, where this not the case and businesses are not able to demonstrate that they are taking steps to improve their practices, the city council will not hesitate to prosecute.”
lYou can find out the rating of any food business by visiting www.ratings.food.gov.uk.