Takeaway boss in court after evidence of rats and mice found by inspectors

A takeaway owner has been fined more than £1,000 after inspectors found traces of rats and mice at the business.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 12:25 pm

Durham County Council’s food safety team took legal action against Syed Wahid Miah after a routine food check at his premises.

The inspection uncovered a number of different hygiene concerns.

A visit by a county council environmental health officer on Sunday, September 20, 2020, revealed a range of unhygienic practices including inadequate cleaning and disinfection of food equipment, inadequate cleaning of the premises, and disrepair to the building’s structure.

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Droppings found on the floor

The officer also found evidence of both mouse activity inside the premises and an active rat infestation.

Miah agreed to sign a Voluntary Closure Agreement and shut down the premises until the satisfactory works needed to remove the risk to public health had been successfully carried out.

A follow-up visit to inspect the premises in November found that the work required to improve the takeaway had been taken.

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Miah appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 3 June and pleaded guilty to charges of failing to put in place procedures to control pests, failing to keep premises clean and in good repair, failing to keep fittings and equipment effectively cleaned, and failing to ensure that all stages of production, processing and distribution of food was fit for human consumption.

The 42-year-old, of Churchill Street in Chester-le-Street, was fined a total of £1197.46 for the offences at the Indian Spice takeaway in Chester-le-Street.

Joanne Waller, Durham County Council’s head of community protection, said there was no excuse for businesses serving food not to comply with the standards on hygiene: “This case is a clear example of how important it is for food business operators to ensure they are operating in line with food safety guidelines to avoid becoming a risk to public health,” she said.

The council would not hesitate to enforce the law and pursue operators who failed to meet the standards required: “Ensuring the health and safety of our residents is our highest priority, so we will take measures, such as closure or legal action, against food businesses that operate with a risk to customers.”

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