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Restaurant owner hit with big fine over hygiene breaches

The operator of a Middlesbrough restaurant has been hit with a £10,000 fine over breaches of food hygiene rules. 

When Environmental Health Officers from Middlesbrough Council’s Public Protection Service visited Peri Peri Original and Sweet Treats Dessert Lounge on Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough in February, they found mouse droppings and poor standards of cleanliness throughout the premises. 

The conditions were described by Middlesbrough Council as presenting an imminent risk of injury to health.

Officers used emergency closure powers to close the business until the operator had demonstrated that the restaurant was pest-free and had been effectively cleaned and disinfected. 

NY Grill Ltd, the company which operates the business, appeared at York Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (October 11) and pleaded guilty to breaching food hygiene laws.

They admitted failing to keep the premises clean and in good repair and condition, failing to keep all articles, fittings and equipment with which food comes into contact clean and disinfected, failing to ensure that adequate procedures were in place to control pests and failing to ensure that food was protected against risk of contamination.

Magistrates fined the company £10,000 and ordered it to pay £1,700 in costs.

Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Public Protection, said: “This business presented a serious risk to public health.

“There were clear signs of mouse activity, particularly droppings on and around foodstuffs and food equipment.
“Officers made the decision to close the premises and the heavy fine imposed by the Court reflects how serious a risk to health this business presented.”   

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “The Council’s Environmental Health Officers will always take prompt action to protect public safety if they discover unsatisfactory conditions in any food business. 

“The Council’s first approach to securing food hygiene standards is to work with businesses - however, where there are serious breaches of the food hygiene rules then we have to consider taking legal action.”