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Blackburn's biggest ever fine for food offences given to takeaway
ENVIRONMENTAL health inspectors found 126 cock-roaches in the kitchen of a Blackburn takeaway.
Chester’s Chicken and Pizza, on Copy Nook, was handed a £27,000 fine, the highest ever issued in the borough, when the owner appeared in court.
On Wednesday Blackburn magistrates court was told the inspection, last March, found:
- Two dead cockroaches stuck to the door seal of the fridge, and more scuttling around the floor;
- Lettuce stored under raw meat, posing a “very high” risk of food poisoning;
- Staff did not have food hygiene training and had no facilities to wash their hands;
- Food was stored in unsuitable containers;
- There was no food safety management plan in place.
The takeaway was closed but has since reopened under the same ownership.
Speaking today, the owner of the takeaway, Khalid Yussuf, said he had only taken it over five days before the inspection and said it had since been cleaned up and passed subsequent inspections.
He admitted he had been “shocked” by the state of the shop.
He added: “It was appalling. But I can 100 per cent reassure people that it’s clean now”.
Yussuf, of Raymond Avenue, Redbridge, London, pleaded guilty to 13 breaches of food hygiene regulations and was charged £600 for each, a total of £7,800.
He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £3,677.
The company was fined £1,200 per offence, making a total of £15,600 with the overall cost £27,077 – almost four times the next largest fine given in the borough.
The prosecution was brought by Blackburn with Darwen council.
Coun Alan Cottam, executive member for regeneration and environment, said the takeaway had been in a “disgusting” state.
He added: “This takeaway was a serious illness waiting to happen and magistrates have reflected that in this very stiff penalty.”
Yussuf told the court that he was initially a sleeping partner in the company, one of five businesses he owns, but took over as proprietor just before the inspection.
He said he had inherited the problem and in 19 years in business had never been prosecuted for anything else.