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15 January 2014, 07:07 | Updated: 15 January 2014, 07:17
A New Forest restaurant has been fined £13,500 for having dirty kitchens, store rooms and toilets.
The restaurant Gandhi Indian Cuisine has been fined as a result of food hygiene and safety offences found by New Forest District Council food safety officers.
The restaurant at 52 Commercial Road, Totton, received a routine food hygiene inspection in June 2013. Officers found the premises and equipment to be dirty and a mouldy cooked curry was found in a kitchen fridge, which the court heard was unfit for human consumption.
The inspection of the premises also revealed that the equipment and structure of the kitchen, dry goods room and toilet were unacceptably dirty. Dirt was found on the walls and floors as well as taps, electrical switches, cooker knobs and door handles, which could have led to cross contamination of foods. Food debris was found on refrigerator shelving and hand-washing soap had not been provided in the kitchen.
Officers revisited the premises on two further occasions in June 2013 and noted some cleaning had been done, however the standards of cleaning still did not meet the legal minimum standard.
Prosecution in this case was considered appropriate because the business had a blatant disregard for the law and was not maintaining the minimum legal standards. Despite officers requesting works to satisfy food law requirements, they found continuing unacceptable conditions.
Gandhi Indian Cuisine (Totton) Ltd pleaded guilty to eight food hygiene offences at Southampton Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 7 January 2014. They were fined a total of £13,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,922.02.
Councillor Edward Heron, New Forest District Council's portfolio holder for the environment, said:
"It is New Forest District Council's policy to adopt an educative and persuasive role in relation to enforcing food safety law. Formal action was necessary in this case due to the serious nature of the offences.''
Concerns about food hygiene matters in the New Forest can be reported to Environmental Health Services by phoning 023 8028 5230.