A BLACKPOOL restaurant owner has been given a two year suspended prison sentence after food inspectors found dirt and mould in the kitchen of his premises.
Iqbal Nooree, 41, pleaded guilty to three offences under Food Hygiene Regulations in relation to The Akash Indian Restaurant on Topping Street.
But today he said he had invested £4,000 in a new kitchen at the premises and pledged it would be kept clean in future.
He was sentenced by a judge at Preston Crown Court after previously admitting the offences at an earlier hearing at Blackpool Magistrates Court.
Mr Nooree pleaded guilty to failing to keep the premises clean, failing to ensure the floor surfaces in rooms where food is prepared were kept clean and failing to make sure equipment was effectively cleaned.
The offences were uncovered during a visit by food safety officers in October 2011.
They found accumulations of dirt, grease and food debris on kitchen equipment, fittings and work surfaces, including chopping boards and shelving.
Officers also found evidence of dirt and mould in a freezer containing food, and poorly maintained floor surfaces.
They undertook another kitchen hygiene inspection at the premises in May 2012 but discovered conditions had not improved.
Since 2002, inspectors had repeatedly warned Mr Nooree to improve hygiene at the restaurant.
He has one previous conviction when he was fined £2,000 with £400 costs in 2008, also for offences under the Food Hygiene Regulations in relation to the same premises.
Mr Nooree said he had now put matters right.
He said: “I shouldn’t have let this happen but this is not a bad restaurant, and we have been in Blackpool a long time.
“We had quite an old kitchen but now I have invested £4,000 in a completely new kitchen. The floors and fridges are all new.
“We are complying with everything the inspectors have asked of us.
“In fact I am aiming to achieve a five star food safety rating and have requested a revisit by the inspectors.”