On Wednesday, 8 September 2010, Abdul Wahid, owner of the Sitar Indian Take-Away, pleaded guilty to five food hygiene offences before Caernarfon Magistrates Court. This followed a routine inspection by Gwynedd Council food inspectors who discovered the business operating without hot water, poor levels of cleanliness, poor structural repair as well as a lack of supervision and training amongst staff.
Mr Wahid had also failed to comply with a Hygiene Improvement Notice which related to implementing a Food Safety Management System.
He was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £500.
Ffion Wyn Hewson, Gwynedd Council Public Protection Manager, said:
“The law requires all food business to have a documented Food Safety Management System in place which shows in detail how they ensure food safety.
“Gwynedd Council promotes the easy-to-follow Safer Food Better Business (SFBB) packs which have been developed to help food businesses to comply with food hygiene regulations. The pack is available for small catering businesses such as restaurants, cafés and take-aways that serve cuisines such as Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Sri Lankan cuisines.
“This particular business has been given all possible assistance by the Council’s Public Protection service including a free copy of the SFBB pack, a workshop specifically relating to the implementation of SFBB as well as a number of advisory visits.
“Dependant upon risk, we use a range of enforcement options to secure compliance with food hygiene requirements, including education and advice, informal warnings and, formal notice with the worst sanction being formal closure of premises and or prosecutions.
“In this case because of the seriousness of the contraventions found during the inspection, the history of poor compliance with food hygiene requirements and the non-compliance of a Hygiene Improvement Notice, prosecution was the most appropriate course of action.
“As a Council, we aim to work with food businesses and prosecution is the last resort. However, those that continue to flout the law and put the public’s health at risk can end up in Court creating negative publicity for their Business as well as financial penalty.
“Improvements have now been made at the premises, and Gwynedd Council officers are continuing to work with Mr Wahid to ensure that the highest standards of food hygiene are maintained at Sitar Indian Take Away’.”
Any Gwynedd business who would like further information or assistance should contact Gwynedd Council’s Food Safety team on 01286 682 728.