THE Midhurst kebab shop has been fined for nine offences under food hygiene law in what was described as one of the worst cases of neglect of standards Chichester District Council (CDC) had ever seen.
Following a routine visit by the council’s environmental health officers, the shop was voluntarily closed by Mr Dogdu in January last year after raw sewage was found in the premises close to the food preparation area.
Amongst many other serious matters there was also no working hot water system for washing equipment or hands, mouldy walls and food preparation surfaces in a state of disrepair.
Pleading guilty at Worthing Magistrates’ Court, Mustafa Dogdu who co-runs Ali’s Grill in North Street, has now been fined a total of £650. His brother Mehmed was cautioned by the council for two further offences.
The shop was allowed to reopen two days after the visit when the drains had been unblocked, hot water provided and other works requiring immediate attention completed.
Due to these serious breaches of food hygiene law, a CDC spokesman said the council was left with little option but to prosecute.
Sentencing Mustafa Dogdu, District Judge Crabtree told him these were serious offences and it should have been obvious the premises were significantly below required safe standards. He said the issues at the shop had posed a real risk to customers.
Eileen Lintill, CDC’s cabinet Member for wellbeing said: “This is one of the worst cases of neglect of basic food safety standards the council has seen. It is fortunate Environmental Health Officers visited the premises when they did.
“Food businesses should be quite clear that when conditions of this sort are found, the council will not hesitate to take necessary steps including closing premises and prosecuting.”
Since the offences came light CDC has made 13 visits to the shop to make sure standards have improved.