Manager of Norwich takeaway must pay £3,600 after food hygiene and safety breaches
PUBLISHED: 07:54 04 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:10 04 May 2018
The manager of a Norwich takeaway must pay £3,600 after a string of food hygiene and safety breaches, including obstructing an inspector investigating his premises.
Norwich Magistrates Court heard a Norwich City Council food and hygiene inspection of Mega Munch, in Magdalen Road, in November last year, identified a number of issues.
Manager Erkan Gulbahce, 38, of West Pottergate in Norwich, admitted eight breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations, one health and safety breach, failing to prevent smoking in the building and obstructing Norwich City Council’s inspector.
Prosecutor Richard Essex, for the city council, said food debris was found on a pizza dough roller, which was still there on a follow-up inspection the next day, prepared cabbage was being stored in a carrier bag and the controls of a bowl mixer was damaged, with repairs attempted with packaging tape.
He said there was no food safety management record at the premises, a wash basin was greasy and dirty, staff were allowed to smoke in a corridor and a door to the freezer room had a large gap at the bottom, so it was not rodent proof.
Mr Essex said: “The officer saw a vermin trap on the floor, suggesting there was a problem on the premises.”
Mr Essex said Gulbahce obstructed the food hygiene inspector and ordered staff to clean up during the inspection.
He said: “He was standing in front of the officer and blocking his use of the camera. He ordered staff to get in the way and hindered the officer. Eventually the officer called the police, but attendance was delayed and, but by the time they turned up, the matter had been resolved.”
Gulbahce, who represented himself, said a “language problem” meant staff continued cleaning when asked to stop, but accepted he had not wanted the inspector to find dirt.
The premises has since been re-inspected and now has a three star rating. Gulbahce said: “I have learned my lessons. I realise this is a serious case. I have tried my best. I’ve borrowed some money and got new appliances and spent money on decorations.”
Magistrates fined him £1,000 for the breach due to the damaged bowl mixer, £1,000 for not having a food management system at the premises, £1,500 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.
Paul Kidd, chairman of the bench, told Gulbahce: “We could have fined you a hell of a lot more money. We would rather see the money spent putting right the wrongs, especially in regards to the equipment. It’s vitally important that you do that. It’s not just yourself, it’s your employees who are at risk.”
Following the case, a spokesman for Norwich City Council said: “The magistrates’ decision shows the importance placed on the preparation of safe food by businesses and for it to be done in an environment which is clean and in good repair.
“The court’s ruling also sent out a clear message to proprietors – obstruction is a serious offence when it comes to food safety officers carrying out their duties, which include making sure food outlets in Norwich are safe for all customers.”
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