Rat-infested curry house prosecution

Photo: Matthieu Aubry

A local curry house owner Mohammed Azam faces fines of over £4,600 after a damning verdict from a magistrate, who described it as one of the worst cases he had seen. Mr Azam was charged with five counts for breaches of the Food Hygiene Regulations.

The Biryani Take Away at 1033 London Road, Thornton Heath was closed down on 2nd Feb, 2010 after inspectors found filthy rooms, unchilled cooked food and overwhelming evidence of a rat infestation.

They also found droppings throughout the food storage area and two burrows, along with the body of one dead rat. Damage under the adjacent doors and broken food containers were identified as the probable cause of the infestation.

Mr Azam was instructed to close the restaurant and dispose of the tainted food. Council officers only reopened the restaurant in March after three further visits during February failed to impress.

Mr Azam claims that he has since sold the business and has not managed it since October 2010.

Cllr Steve O’Connell, cabinet member for community safety, said: “These cases really highlight how important the work of our food safety team is. Customers would otherwise be completely unaware of the conditions in which their food is prepared and their health could be put seriously at risk.”

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