A COUNCIL is urging local food businesses to follow hygiene rules to protect customers, after it successfully prosecuted a takeaway for 23 food safety offences.

Kebab House on Old Lane, Brighouse, has stopped trading as its owner was found guilty of breaking the law and putting the public’s health at risk.

In October, Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court heard an inspection on June 1, 2022, found a dirty fridge, out of date coleslaw and the same chopping board being used for chicken and vegetables.

Mohammad Zubair, 58, was the owner of the take away at the time, but has since sold the business, the court heard.

He was later fined more than £1,500 and banned from owning or managing a business in the UK.

Charges which were brought by the council included selling coleslaw that was six days past its use by date, that the toilet bowl in the takeaway was cracked and damaged, and that the blade of the heavy-duty tin opener was “encrusted with heavy amounts of food.”

Calderdale Council argued this would cause contamination of the food in the next tin opened.

Other charges included that the condition of the microwave had deteriorated to the extent that it could no longer be thoroughly cleaned or disinfected, that “the food mixer was dirty with encrusted flour”, that fridge seals were “extremely dirty”, that the same chopping boards were being used for preparing raw vegetables such as onions, cooked chicken and ready to eat salads and that the pizza tray in the kitchen showed a build-up of dirt over time.

The council’s Environmental Health Food Hygiene Team had worked to support Kebab House since 2018, says the authority – the business’s food hygiene rating had ranged between the low scores of 1 and 2, which meant major improvements were necessary.

It always follows the principles of engagement and education before enforcing or taking legal action, supporting all businesses who ask, and provides further advice to those that are struggling or score the lowest food hygiene ratings.

In line with this approach, Environmental Health made several planned visits to Kebab House and offered support to drive up food hygiene and cleanliness standards.

Despite this support, the business failed to take the action needed.

Coun Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park), Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Public Services and Communities, said the punishment in this case highlighted the severity of food safety issues.

“By raising awareness of what can happen when food businesses break the rules, we’re sending a clear message to local people that we care about their health and safety, and to businesses that they must take their hygiene responsibilities seriously.

“We carry out regular checks on all food premises to protect the public and make sure high standards are maintained,” she said.