Lye owner sentenced for food hygiene offences

The previous owner of a retail butcher in Lye has pleaded guilty to eight food hygiene offences, following a food inspection from Dudley Council.

Asif Riaz, previous owner of Madni Halal Meat, 48 High Street, Lye, appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court on 22 March 2021. Environmental Health Officers carried out a routine food hygiene inspection in May 2019 where poor standards were discovered and the premises was rated as a zero in the food hygiene rating scheme.

Cleaning standards were poor, the floor surface in the food room was damaged and unclean, there was no soap provided at the wash basin for washing hands and the door to the rear yard was left open allowing flies access into the premises. Cardboard and other refuse was not stored suitably, and raw meat was stored in a way that presented a risk of contamination to ready to eat food. The food safety management system was incomplete and Riaz failed to notify the authority that there had been a change in ownership.

Riaz was sentenced to four weeks imprisonment for each of the offences which has been suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to undertake 100 hours community service and pay £2000 towards costs.

Dudley Council confirmed that there has now been a change in ownership of the food business and that Riaz was no longer the proprietor. Karen Wright, Director of Public Health & Wellbeing said:

"The public have a right to expect that shops from which they purchase their food do not put their health at risk. It is right that this proprietor has now been held to account for the most unsatisfactory conditions found by our inspectors.

"We much prefer to work with businesses to secure compliance with the law, but we will not hesitate to take legal action against the minority of food businesses proprietors who fail to meet their legal responsibilities and put the health of the public at risk.

"Over half of all food outlets in the borough are achieving the top hygiene rating of 5 and the vast majority achieve a satisfactory rating of 3 or more. I would urge consumers to check out hygiene ratings online as these will give consumers a glimpse of what is going on in the kitchen when they eat out, or behind the scenes at the places they shop."

Dudley Council environmental health officers carry out regular inspections of food premises in the borough to advise food business owners and ensure they meet all food safety and hygiene requirements. Ratings in Dudley can be viewed online at dudley.gov.uk/foodsafety.

Help and advice for businesses about complying with the law is also available online on the council’s website at dudley.gov.uk.

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