Calderdale Council is urging local food businesses in the UK to adhere to hygiene regulations for the safety of customers. This call comes after the successful prosecution of a takeaway, Kebab House on Old Lane, Brighouse, which was found guilty of 23 food safety offences, leading to its closure.
The offences included having food products beyond their use-by date, the absence of soap or proper hand-drying facilities at the sink, inadequate awareness of food hygiene among staff, and unclean facilities and utensils, such as dirty sinks, work surfaces, pots, pans, and kitchen floors. Tupperware containers in the kitchen were contaminated with grease, dirt, and food debris. Additionally, the blade of the heavy-duty can opener was encrusted with food, posing a risk of contaminating the next tin opened.
On October 26, 2023, at Bradford Magistrates’ Court, the owner was fined just over £1,500 and barred from owning or managing a business in the UK.
The Council’s Environmental Health Food Hygiene Team had been assisting Kebab House since 2018, as the business’s food hygiene rating ranged between 1 and 2, indicating the need for significant improvements.
The Council, in its commitment to engagement and education, always seeks to provide support before resorting to legal action. Support and advice are offered to struggling businesses or those with low food hygiene ratings.
Despite repeated planned visits and support from the Environmental Health team to improve food hygiene and cleanliness standards, Kebab House failed to address the issues. Consequently, enforcement action was deemed necessary to safeguard public health, leading to legal proceedings against the establishment.
Cllr Jenny Lynn, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, said:
“The punishment in this case highlights the severity of food safety crime. It was a positive result for our Environmental Health team and our communities. By raising awareness of what can happen when food businesses break the rules, we’re sending a clear message to local people that we care about their health and safety, and to businesses that they must take their hygiene responsibilities seriously.
“We carry out regular checks on all food premises to protect the public and make sure high standards are maintained. Full inspections are unannounced, and when a business is classed as high-risk, our Environmental Health team may visit every three to six months. Their checks include the condition of premises and equipment, controls in place to prevent food safety problems, and staff training.”