Ellesmere Port restaurant owner sentenced for 23 food safety and hygiene offences
11 June 2020The owner of a restaurant in Ellesmere has been sentenced for a total of 23 food safety and hygiene offences at Liverpool Crown Court.
On Wednesday 10 June 2020 at a sentencing hearing at Liverpool Crown Court, Hasan Gazi (65), the owner of Taste & Smile takeaway at 18 Rossmore Road West in Ellesmere Port, was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, suspended for eighteen months and banned from running a food business. He was also ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work for the community.
The case had been sent to the crown court for sentencing by the West Cheshire Magistrates as they felt that they had insufficient sentencing powers.
The first 11 offences dated back to January 2019, the next five to August 2019 and the final seven offences date back to February this year. Hasan Gazi also had previous convictions for four food hygiene offences in 2012.
Environmental health officers from Cheshire West and Chester Council visited the takeaway for a routine hygiene inspection in January 2019. They found dirty conditions throughout the establishment, including most surfaces being covered with food debris and/or coated with a thick layer of grease, mould in jars, raw meat being stored next to salad and vegetables and pizza topping being stored on a stack of fabric dining chairs. Of particular concern was a toilet that opened into the food preparation area.
They also discovered that Hasan Gazi had failed to register himself with the Council as a food business operator and that the business had no food safety management system in place. Standards were so poor the business agreed to close voluntarily until immediate issues could be addressed.
Subsequent visits also found cross contamination and food preparation issues as with the previous visit. Officers were aware of a foul odour upon entry that was traced to rancid, raw chicken in a refrigeration unit.
A visit, the evening before the defendant was due in the magistrates’ court in February 2020 to answer to existing food safety offences, revealed that no notice had been taken of advice given to him by the officers on previous inspections and the restaurant was in a filthy state.
In sentencing the defendant His Honour Judge Everett described the conditions found in the restaurant as disgusting and said it was beyond belief that Gazi could run a business in such conditions.
The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “This sentence demonstrates the extreme nature of the offences involved. Regulatory Services officers discovered continual flagrant breaches of food safety regulations.
“All food businesses have a duty to serve food that is safe and the Council has a duty to protect the health of the general public. In this case, officers discovered a flagrant disregard to food safety and hygiene.
“Food businesses that do not comply with the regulations and put the general public at risk will not be tolerated. Thankfully the majority of business operating in Cheshire West and Chester operate to a high level of compliance.
“Officers in our Regulatory Services team work proactively to help business owners comply with legislation and meet hygiene standards and food safety.”
Cheshire West and Chester Council operate a paid for advisory service for all food businesses called the ‘GET5’ scheme. Call 01244 973486 for more information or see the Council’s website.