A Bradford restaurant boss who has been fined thousands of pounds had let standards slip after “taking on more than he could chew” running the family business, magistrates heard.

Barber Rashid, who had taken over Mughals Restaurant and Sweet Centre, in Leeds Road, from his father and uncle, pleaded guilty at Bradford & Keighley Magistrates’ Court yesterday to 11 breaches of food hygiene regulations discovered during a routine visit by environmental health inspectors in July last year.

He also asked magistrates to take into account two other incidents when another inspector had found the business open in January this year while major building work was being carried out.

At that stage, walls were being removed and a new roof joist being put in, with food being left uncovered despite the dust and debris.

Magistrates fined him £2,000, ordered him to pay £3,525.98 in costs and a £200 victim surcharge – all to be paid in 90 days.

The first 11 charges included food being left uncovered, flies landing on food, filthy walls and floors, a wash hand basis being full of metal trays, no soap for workers to wash with, workers only rinsing their hands with no hot water, bad lighting in the kitchen, foul-smelling clothes being washed in buckets, an extremely filthy wall-mounted can opener, an unclean dough mixer, dirty work surfaces and raw meat risking cross contamination being left next to cooked food in the cold room.

A fridge was also being run at twice the temperature it should have been, said Richard Winter, prosecuting for Bradford Council.

Rashid, 40, of Hollin Wood Close, Shipley, had been given the chance to make improvements and a week later had carried out a deep-clean of the premises and made other changes although there were still some problems, the court heard.

He was sent a letter giving more guidance and a visit in September found all the matters except one had been put right.

However Mr Winter said: “There’s unfortunately a but. There was another visit in January, building work was going on and the business was still open and that was obviously unacceptable.”

Rashid’s solicitor Shakil Ahmed said his client had not given builders approval to do the work that day and the food that was left out was being eaten by the builders themselves - not for customers.

Mr Ahmed said his client had taken over the business and attempted to support staff “set in their ways” with training and tools required but “Not being there on a day to day basis was difficult for him to manage.”

He was also trying to manage two households and take care of his ill father's hospital appointments.

Mr Ahmed said: “He puts his hands up and accepts he let standards slip. At that stage he had bitten off more than he could chew.”

Half of the business has now been sold to a new partner in a bid to make a fresh start and move on once the restaurant re-opens. Rashid had shut the business in January and it is still closed because building work is on-going.