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Takeaway owner fined over rodent infestation

The owner of a Middlesbrough takeaway has been fined after breaching food hygiene rules. 

Environmental Health Officers visited Balti Night in Parliament Road in April, 2018, to carry out a routine food hygiene inspection.

They found evidence of a widespread mouse infestation and other serious contraventions of food hygiene regulations, and used legal powers to require owner Tarik Uddin to close the takeaway with immediate effect.

Appearing before Teesside Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (January 8), Uddin, of Appleton Road, Middlesbrough pleaded guilty to four offences – failing to ensure adequate procedures in place to control pests, failing to keep the premises clean, failing to keep food equipment clean and disinfected and failing to put procedures in place to protect foods from risk of contamination.

The 49-year-old was fined £2,728 and ordered to pay £742 in costs plus a £170 victim surcharge.

Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Public Protection, said: “Yet again officers have had to use their emergency powers to close a food business.

“In setting the fine for this premises the Magistrates considered that the owner had been on the premises on the day of the inspection, but had failed to raise any concerns.

“Our primary role is to help food businesses comply with the law, and our officers are happy to provide advice and assistance.

“However to protect the health of people who eat out in Middlesbrough enforcement action will always be taken when consumer safety is put at risk.”

Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said: “Unfortunately, once again, officers have had to use their strongest powers and close a food business to protect public health. 

“The conditions found in the Balti Night takeaway were unacceptable and required this prompt enforcement action. 

“Action such as this should reassure consumers eating out in Middlesbrough that poor hygiene standards are being tackled and that by far most food business have safe and hygienic conditions.”