A former food business operator who failed to heed numerous official warnings about the dirty and unsuitable conditions at his premises has been prosecuted and fined.
The prosecution of Noman Rashid marks the end of a long and complicated case involving Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Public Health and Protection department and the now-closed Mr Chips in Taff Street, Pontypridd.
The premises was a fast food takeaway and restaurant, which as a result of regular, routine inspections carried out at all such venues by Public Health and Protection, on behalf of the community, was identified as having serious issues.
Despite repeated visits and contacts, in which verbal and written warnings and instructions were given, Noman Rashid failed to address the issues at the premises, which he eventually closed of his own accord .
Issues raised by officers, who inspect hundreds of premises a year to ensure they meet the standards consumers expect and deserve, included:
There was no adequate food safety management system in place or being implemented
The premises was not kept clean or maintained to a good standard of repair and condition
Food waste and refuse was not removed as quickly as possible from rooms where food was being prepared
Adequate provision had not been made for the storage and disposal of food waste.
Inspections of the premises, which was open from December 2012 to May 2013, uncovered dirty surfaces and hand contact points (such as door and refrigerator handles), greasy junctions between walls and floors, refrigerated “high-risk” foods (including raw meat) stored above the legal temperature of 8 degrees centigrade.
Officers also found kebab trays congealed with fat and food waste in open plastic bags not properly disposed of and, instead, simply left in the room where fresh food was being prepared.
A hygiene improvement notice was served on Mr Rashid, requiring the creation and implementation of a food safety management system, which should have already been in place and followed to the rule by management and staff in order to ensure the hazards associated with operating a food business are identified and precautionary measures put in place.
The notice required the system to be put in place within 14 days and was not adhered to, leading to the prosecution. Noman Rashid was charged with 10 offences under the Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006 as a result.
He admitted all 10 offences when he faced Pontypridd Magistrates’ Court on June 20 and was fined £500 for the offences and ordered to pay £663 costs and a victim surcharge of £50.
David Jones, Head of Community Protection at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “Public Health and Protection Officers work tirelessly across the county borough to ensure food premises operate to the standards we – and consumers – expect.
“We are lucky in Rhondda Cynon Taf in that we have hundreds of high-quality food premises that offer their customers exceptional standards, customer care and, most importantly, delicious food.
“We continue to support, promote and celebrate the premises that work hard to uphold the law and maintain standards. Part of this support includes dealing with those premises who don’t adhere to the rules and put the community at risk with poor standards.
“I hope this case provides reassurance to the public that we will not hesitate to prosecute where we cannot get traders to comply with their legal obligations to maintain good hygiene standards.
Find out more about your local food premise and their food hygiene ratings.
Food premises that meet an acceptable standard in food hygiene ratings are also invited to join the Healthy Options Awards, a free, Wales-wide initiative that allows them to showcase their commitment to offering customers healthier options.
Find out more about Healthy Options