Owner of mouse-infested Barking take-away receives £10,043 bill from magistrates

Picture: PA Wire

Picture: PA Wire - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The owner of a Barking kebab shop was handed a £10,043 bill for failing to comply with food hygiene standards.

Shafqat Mahmood, 56, of Station Parade, pleaded guilty to 14 offences for his restaurant, Kebabish Hut, also in Station Parade.

Prosecutor Mr Leach said Barking and Dagenham food hygiene inspector, officer Dawkins, had labelled the restaurant as “an environment which was prime for harbouring pests”.

He raised concerns about a serious mice infestation, droppings on surfaces where food was being prepared, filthy refrigerators, a lack of ventilation, and food that was stored at the wrong temperatures.

Although the kebab and fried chicken take away had been issued improvement notices on December 7, 2012, requiring them to fully train staff in “food management systems” by December 21, Mahmood failed to meet these standards by that date, Romford magistrates heard on Friday.

This was also the case for a notice requiring the equipment, areas and stairs to be cleared of grease and dirt by the same date.

The first £2,843 of the fine was the cost sought by the local authority after they repeatedly found Mr Mahmood failing to comply.

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Defending Mr Mahmood, Mr Chodrey told the court his client had been suffering severe chest pains and said: “He was in and out of hospital during the inspections and that was the reason the standards had not been met.”

Mr Mahmood accepted and apologised for the public health risk his restaurant had caused, and provided evidence of cooperation since the summons was served. Mr Chodrey said: “He sacked two of the chefs when he realised the lack of compliance and has brought in pest control people numerous times.”

Mahmood faced being fined up to £5,000 for each individual offence, which would have totalled £70,000 overall, but the bench took his medical history into consideration when issuing the charge.

Mr Leach argued: “Regardless of medical conditions, he remained in full responsibility of the premises and did not make any attempts to transfer responsibility to anyone else.”The fine will be paid in monthly instalments of £670 over 15 months.