The operator of a former Hartlepool takeaway has been fined £1,200 for a string of hygiene offences.
Teesside Magistrates Court heard evidence of poor hygiene practices at Olivito’s in Raby Road including inadequate cleaning in the kitchen, poor personal hygiene and a failure to protect food from the risk of contamination.
During visits to the premises between August 2015 and March 2016, council health inspectors discovered filthy utensils and equipment, a blocked drain in the rear yard, poor training and supervision of food handlers, containers of raw meat stored on top of uncovered cooked food and out of date food.
Craig Cooper, 33, the former owner and food business operator of the premises pleaded guilty to eleven charges brought under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
He was ordered to pay a £1,200 fine plus a surcharge of £120 and £674 in costs to Hartlepool Borough Council which prosecuted Cooper, of Heathland View, Chatham, Kent.
The premises has since ceased trading,
Sylvia Pinkney, head of public protection at Hartlepool council, said: “We work very closely with businesses to ensure they know the law and offer help and advice where we can.
“We have an excellent record in the borough of food hygiene compliance. Over 90% of food businesses in Hartlepool have achieved a ‘4’ or ‘5’ rating under the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
“However, in certain cases, prosecution is the only option to ensure people are protected from the risk of food poisoning. We hope that this prosecution and fine will send a strong message out to the minority of food businesses that do not take food hygiene seriously and put people’s health at risk.”