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Restaurant owner fined over sewage hygiene risks

The owner of a Middlesbrough restaurant where raw sewage put the public’s health at risk has been fined in court.

When Environmental Health Officers from Middlesbrough Council’s Public Protection Service visited Rotana on Parliament Road in November last year, they found the basement area flooded with water contaminated with raw sewage.

Part of the area was being used for food preparation and storage, creating a serious risk of contamination.

A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice was served on owner Salar Latif requiring him to close the restaurant with immediate effect.

He was not allowed to re-open the business until Environmental Health Officers had carried out a further food hygiene assessment and the premises had been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 

Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Public Protection, said: “The conditions found at Rotana seriously breached hygiene laws that require food to be stored, handled and prepared in hygienic conditions.

“As a result of the conditions found, the safety of foods had been put at risk – sewage-contaminated water in a food business is a serious risk to public health.”

Appearing before Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (December 11), Latif, of Granville Road, Middlesbrough pleaded guilty to four offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 – failing to ensure adequate procedures in place to manage food safety, failing to keep the premises clean, failing to keep food equipment clean and failing to ensure food was protected from contamination

The 48-year-old was fined £600 and ordered to pay £794 towards the Council’s costs, plus a £60 victim surcharge.

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “We want to work with local food business to achieve good standards of food hygiene and most businesses in Middlesbrough are clean and well run.

“However, we have to protect the public and if conditions are found that put consumer health at risk then appropriate enforcement action will be taken.”