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15 April 2014, 06:00
Chichester District Council has successfully prosecuted the owner of a kebab shop in Midhurst for nine offences under food hygiene law.
Pleading guilty at Worthing Magistrates’ Court, Mustafa Dogdu who co-runs Ali’s Grill in North Street, was fined for each offence. His brother Mehmed was cautioned by the council for two further offences.
Following a routine visit by the council’s environmental health officers, the shop was voluntarily closed by Mr Dogdu in January 2013 after raw sewage was found in the premises close to the food preparation area.
Amongst many other serious matters there was also no working hot water system for washing equipment or hands, mouldy walls and food preparation surfaces in a state of disrepair.
The shop was allowed to reopen two days later after the drains were unblocked, hot water was provided and other works requiring immediate attention completed.
Due to these serious breaches of food hygiene law, the council was left with little option but to prosecute.
Sentencing Mustafa Dogdu, District Judge Crabtree told him these were serious offences and it should have been obvious that the premises were significantly below required safe standards. He said the issues at the shop had posed a real risk to customers.
Councillor Eileen Lintill, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Community Services at Chichester District Council, says: “This is one of the worst cases of neglect of basic food safety standards that the council has seen. It is fortunate that Environmental Health Officers visited the premises when they did and that immediate action was taken to protect the public.
“The council always tries to offer support and guidance to businesses when carrying out routine inspections, but food businesses in the area should be quite clear that when conditions of this sort are found, the Council will not hesitate to take any steps that are necessary, including closing premises and prosecuting.”
Since the offences came light the council has made 13 visits to the shop to make sure that standards have improved and that the safety of the public has been maintained.
You can find out the food rating of all food outlets in the Chichester District, including Ali’s Grill, on the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme website