Court denies Woolpit man’s request to lift food business ban

Ipswich Magistrates' Court
Ipswich Magistrates' Court

A Woolpit man who was banned from managing a food business for three years after repeatedly failing to meet food safety levels has had his request for it to be lifted early denied.

Mobile takeaway food operator Mehmet Cokgezici received his ban last year after pleading guilty to eight food hygiene offences.

He admitted exposing food to risk of contamination in various ways including dirty equipment and the lack of a food safety management system. Read more here.

The Flame Kebabs van he owned, which previously traded outside Elmswell train station, has not been in use since.

On Tuesday, Cokgezici, of Wrights Way, Woolpit, appeared at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court to request the Prohibition Order be lifted early.

Representing himself, he told the court he was embarrassed about what had occurred previously and said Mid Suffolk District Council had been right to take action against him at that time.

However, he advised the court he had undertaken further hygiene training and now wished to resurrect his business.

Simon Smith, representing Mid Suffolk District Council, attended the hearing with two of council’s food and safety officers to oppose the lifting the order.

He told magistrates Cokgezici’s original court case had made the national press due the appalling conditions and practices found back in 2015.

He also advised that Mr Cokgezici had not approached the council for advice prior to requesting the new hearing, and the Flame Kebabs unit had not been inspected since the original court case.

On questioning from the Bench, Mr Cokgezici said it was his intention to return to operating Flame Kebabs if the ban was lifted.

He also admitted the kebab van required some improvement work before being reinstated.

Cokgezici’s request to have the Prohibition Order lifted was denied, but magistrates recognised he had passed the Level 3 food hygiene course and suggested he contacted the food and safety officers to take the advice offered.

He can reapply to have the ban lifted after three months.