Mohammed Nazakat, owner of Flavour Chicken in South Street, has to pay out a total of £9,350 after being fined £750 for each offence plus £2600 in costs.
Havering Council officers became concerned about poor hygiene at the restaurant during a routine inspection in January 2012, and when Nazakat became the proprietor the following month he was made aware of these concerns.
The Council were clear that improvements needed to be implemented including adequate staff training in food safety, written food safety procedures and ensuring food is protected from contamination.
When further visits indicated no improvements had been made a number of hygiene improvement notices were served.
Another visit in June 2012, to check the notices were being complied with, yielding yet more food safety issues which included inadequate hand washing facilities, staff not wearing aprons, and insufficient lighting. This was alongside a filthy storage area, outside bin, walls, floors and kitchen equipment.
Raw chicken was found to be stored too closely to cooked food and a cleaning cloth was tested and found to contain excessive levels of enterobacteriaceae (a bacteria associated with poor hygiene that can cause food poisoning). Following this visit, Havering Council decided court action was the only option.
Councillor Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for public protection, said: “It is absolutely disgusting that despite so many visits and advice given by our officers this restaurant owner failed to clean up his act and continued to break the law, putting the health and wellbeing of every person who ate there at risk.
“He blatantly flouted the law and I am pleased that magistrates saw fit to impose a hefty fine.
“We want to work with local food businesses to help them comply with food safety regulations and that’s why for each business we inspect we give a food hygiene rating from zero, where urgent improvement is necessary, to five which is very good. Residents can check these ratings online before they purchase take-away food or eat out in the Borough.”