A TAKEAWAY owner has been banned from running restaurants, admitting seven food hygiene offences.
Preston Crown Court heard how Muhaimnul and Rushna Choudhury ran the Bengal Spice takeaway – now Dial-a-Curry – on Central Drive, where Blackpool Council’s food hygiene officers found what Judge Tony Cross QC described as an “appalling history of conforming to the regulations”.
When officers raided the premises they found dirty tea towels and spice containers, as well as greasy boxes used to store poppadoms.
Freezers were found with mouldy seals, and fridges coated in filth. Easy access for pests and blocked drainage systems were spotted officers too.
Foul water had begun to build up in the basement where food was being stored, causing a food hygiene hazard.
Mr and Mrs Choudhury also failed to produce relevant records about food temperatures and safety when asked.
Mr and Mrs Choudhury had been found guilty of breaching food hygiene laws twice before in 2009 and 2010, but had failed to improve the standard of the takeaway, showing a “flagrant disregard of the court’s previous orders”.
Over the last 10 years, food hygiene officers had often visited the takeaway, the court heard.
And Judge Cross added: “Since 2002 the local authority has visited on many occasions and on every occasion the premises have failed to comply with the conditions of the regulations in a material way.
“The defendants have been given chances time after time until 2009 when Mr Choudhury was prosecuted by Blackpool Council for similar offences. At this stage Mr and Mrs Choudhury should have learned their lesson but were prosecuted again less than two years ago, and were fined £2,000.”
The judge acknowledged the defendants pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. He said at the sentencing hearing in May he had “given the Choudhury’s opportunity to remedy the breaches”, but less than a month later an inspection proved they were incapable of maintaining proper hygiene standards and that “public safety was being put at risk”.
After the hearing, Coun Gillian Campbell (pictured, inset left), cabinet member with responsibility for quality standards at Blackpool Council, said: “The message from this case is very clear. Businesses, especially those which serve food, need to be responsible for the quality of product they sell.
“Bengal Spice has consistently failed to provide a good standard of food, and for that reason food standards officers have been tough in trying to drive up standards. After multiple visits and two prosecutions, it came to the final straw.
“Our officers have put a lot of time and work into this particular takeaway, all in the name of protecting the public from unsafe and unhygienic food.”
The takeaway is now named Dial-a-Curry.