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Sundays owner fined over hygiene breaches

A Middlesbrough takeaway owner has been hit with a fine for a catalogue of hygiene offences.

When Environmental Heath Officers visited Sundays in December, 2017, they found serious risks to food safety and poor standards of cleanliness to the structure and food contact equipment. 

Emergency closure measures were implemented and the Cargo Fleet Lane premises was closed with immediate effect.

Owner Daniel Wilkinson was not allowed to reopen his business until Environmental Health Officers had carried out a further food hygiene assessment and were satisfied that the premises had been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and adequate food safety controls were in place. 

During a follow-up monitoring visit in February, 2018 officers again found poor standards of hygiene within the premises including a lack of cleaning and maintenance to the structure and food contact equipment.  

A further inspection in August, 2018 found mouse droppings throughout the premises, resulting in a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice being served on the owner requiring the takeaway to close immediately.

The premises remained closed until Officers were satisfied that effective pest treatment and prevention measures had been carried out and the premises thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. 

Appearing before Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (January 29), Wilkinson, of Falmouth Close, Redcar admitted seven offences including a failure to have in place food safety management procedures, a failure to ensure adequate procedures to control pests, to keep the premises and equipment clean and maintained and to ensure food was protected from contamination.  

The 31-year-old was fined £1,000 and was also ordered to pay £500 in costs and a £100 victim surcharge.

Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Public Protection, said: “This food business has been given every opportunity to improve its hygiene standards.

“However, despite a number of visits and a previous warning he failed to operate his business to the required standards.

“Rodents carry disease and their presence in any food business creates a serious health risk.

“Food businesses must make sure that their premises are kept clean and free from pests at all times.”

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “The safety of the public is paramount, and our Environmental Health Officers work closely with food businesses to ensure good standards are maintained

“The vast majority of food businesses in Middlesbrough are well managed, operated hygienically and achieve the top food hygiene rating.

“However, where poor standards of hygiene are found in any food business in Middlesbrough, they must take prompt enforcement action and this could also lead to a prosecution and substantial penalties.”