Halal Catering Supplies Ltd., a prominent manufacturer of Doner Kebabs, faced legal action from Kirklees Council, resulting in substantial fines and costs totalling over £6000.
The company, located at Units 6 & 7a Beckside Trading Estate, 230 Bradford Road, Batley, WF17 6JD, pleaded guilty to 15 offences, including various violations related to traceability, food safety management systems, premises maintenance, product identification, and non-compliance with hygiene improvement notices. The case was presented before the Kirklees Magistrates Court on 22 May 2023.
The prosecution followed a routine food hygiene inspection conducted by the Environmental Health Team in January 2022. During the inspection, it was discovered that Halal Catering Supplies Ltd. was not sourcing lamb fat from an approved supplier, as mandated by regulations.
Furthermore, the premises were found to be in poor condition, with evidence of flaking paint on ceilings and rusty equipment in the production area. It was also determined that the company was not following its food safety management systems. Other violations included the failure to quarantine unfit food, a lack of monitoring records for safe temperature maintenance, absence of useful information regarding food recipients, presence of dust and debris on food packaging materials, open spilt mouse bait in food storage rooms, and overall non-compliance with food hygiene procedures.
To safeguard public health, the Food Safety Officers from Kirklees conducted a two-day operation, during which all food items not produced in accordance with food hygiene laws and potentially unsafe were disposed of by the company.
Subsequently, the premises underwent close monitoring by Food Safety Officers to ensure the elimination of any continuing risk to the public. The company sought the assistance of a Food Safety Consultant, and officers collaborated with the business to help them achieve the required standards.
However, despite this support, Halal Catering Supplies Ltd. failed to rectify all the contraventions, including several structural issues. Furthermore, the company neglected to comply with three hygiene improvement notices within the agreed timescales.
In light of these offences, Halal Catering Supplies Ltd. was fined £2000 and ordered to pay £900 as a contribution towards prosecution costs, in addition to a £200 surcharge.
The Director, Mr. Ali Shan, and the Operations Manager, Mr. Osman Ali Shan, both pleaded guilty to the same offences and were individually fined £584. They were also required to pay £900 each as a contribution towards prosecution costs and a £58 surcharge.
Councillor Naheed Mather, the Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, commented on the case, saying, “Any business providing food to the public must prepare it with high levels of hygiene and safety. Ultimately, we don’t want the public to get substandard food or food that makes them ill from their local takeaway or restaurant.”
Mather emphasised the importance of businesses implementing robust systems to ensure food safety, including maintaining records and knowing their suppliers’ adherence to regulations. Kirklees Food Safety Officers diligently inspect all premises and take appropriate action when businesses fail to comply.
While efforts are made to work with non-compliant businesses, legal action becomes necessary to drive change and serve as an example to other establishments and the public regarding the consequences of unsafe food preparation. Mather expressed gratitude for the intervention of Kirklees officers, as Halal Catering Supplies Ltd. has since improved its standards, ensuring a safer environment for consumers.