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West Bowling takeaway hygiene was ‘frightening’
A former owner of Bradford fast food restaurant will be sentenced by a Crown Court judge after magistrates described his cockroach-infested kitchen as “frightening” and a danger to public health.
Shaukat Zaman Khan, then owner of Rafiqs Takeaway in Woodroyd Road, West Bowling, repeatedly ignored warnings from Bradford Council environmental health officers and allowed an “unacceptable level of uncleanliness” to build up in food preparation areas, Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday.
Khan yesterday pleaded guilty to nine breaches of food hygiene regulations and will now appear for sentencing at Bradford Crown Court on January 15.
Chairman of the magistrates’ bench, Peter McDermott, told Khan: “Quite frankly, we are appalled at what we’ve heard.
“The state of your restaurant was frightening and I can’t believe you weren’t shut down a long time ago. Your consistent failure to comply with environmental health regulations meant you neglected your duty of care to the public.”
Harjit Ryatt, prosecuting on behalf of the Council, said conditions found at the takeaway had led to an investigation by the authority’s environmental health department.
He described how, on visits on August 15 and September 12, 2012, officers found evidence of cockroach and mice infestations, filthy hand and food contact surfaces, inadequate hand-washing facilities in food preparation areas, broken floor and ceiling tiles, and a lack of hot running water in one of the kitchen sinks.
Mr Ryatt added that staff left to work unsupervised at the takeaway had received no formal basic food hygiene training, and were unaware of the correct temperatures for storing and preparing pre-cooked food, leading to potential public health issues.
The court also heard that Khan, of Lindley Road, Little Horton, had failed to officially register his business with the Council until August 2012, despite being sole owner since November 2008, and had been put on notice by the authority regarding hygiene issues as far back as February 2009.
The court was told that Khan no longer runs, or has any financial interest in, the business, having sold it in August 2013.
In mitigation, his solicitor, Raj Virdee, told the court that the “reality soon dawned with regards to his obligations as an owner, to which he admits, he fell well short of expectations.”