Stourbridge Takeaway Fined For Rat Infestation

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The boss of a Stourbridge takeaway has been fined thousands of pounds after hygiene inspectors discovered rat droppings in the potato store room.

In September 2015, following a complaint by a resident, Dudley Council’s environmental health officers carried out an inspection at Sizzlers takeaway in Hagley Road, Stourbridge, and found rat droppings in the external potato storage room on and around pallets in which potatoes were stored and behind a chest freezer. 

A potato which had been gnawed by a rat was also found as well as droppings beside a rat bait box. There was a pest entry point in the ceiling of the room and damaged walls. The main part of the food premises was not affected and the potato store room was taken out of use and conditions were remedied within a week.

Anzar Farakh, 42, of Dorchester Road, Pedmore, who was found to bethe proprietor of the business at the time of the problem, was found guilty of four offences under the food safety and hygiene regulations at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on January 12. These included failing to keep food premises clean and in good condition, failing to protect food from a risk of contamination and failing to put in place adequate procedures to control pests.

Farakh was fined £1,250 and ordered to pay Dudley Council costs of £1,500 and a victim surcharge of £120. Farakh has since left the business and Dudley Council has pointed out that the premises are now registered to a new proprietor. Councillor Rachel Harris, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said:

“Environmental health officers work very closely with businesses to ensure they know the law and offer help and advice where we can. However, where conditions present a risk to public health, as in this case, immediate action to remove the risk will be taken and owners will be held to account for the unsatisfactory conditions.

“If people are going out to buy food they can check out hygiene ratings online as these will give consumers a glimpse of what is going on in the kitchen when they eat out and 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 or at food.gov.uk/ratings. 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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