Restaurant fined £15,000 for food hygiene offences

The owners of the Saffron restaurant in Stowmarket have been fined a total of £15,000 for food hygiene offences.

Ibrahim Ali, Company Secretary of Nazmin Ltd, and Restaurant Manager Abdul Mukit, attended Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on May 30.

Prosecuting, Caroline Whatling said that Sara Proctor, a Food and Safety Officer from Mid Suffolk District Council (MDSC), carried out an unanncounced routine food hygiene inspection on September 21 last year.

A number of serious issues were spotted including dirty premises, a lack of a food safety management system, a lack of staff training and a lack of protective clothing and facilties for hand washing.

Mr Ali, speaking for the company, pleaded guilty to six food hygiene offences.

In mitigation Ali and Mukit admitted that there had been problems, in part because staff did not do as they had been asked. When addressing the defendent magistrates emphisised the fact that the Manager was often not present at the restaurant and had not been there for the inspection. They noted that advice and support had been given to the restaurant over a long period of time before the offences took place.

In delivering judgement magistrates said the defendant had decided not to act on the advice from the local authority and as a consequence, put public health at risk.

They were fined £2,500 for each offence, a total fine of £15,000. They were also made to pay costs of £1838.35 and a victim surcharge of £120.

John Grayling, Corporate Manager for Food and Safety at MSDC said, “Prosecution is the last resort. In this case, we took a graduated approach to enforcement, offering help and advice on the way.

“It is always disappointing when a food business ends up in Court, but in Babergh and Mid Suffolk, food officers work hard to ensure all food businesses are compliant, and will take action when continued failings are found.”