Former Morley restaurant owner fined for hygiene breaches

Food handling practices were poor and hand washing facilities for staff were inadequate.
Food handling practices were poor and hand washing facilities for staff were inadequate.

A former restaurant owner has been fined after officers found a complete disregard to food safety in his Morley premises.

Raees Ali, who ran Amaan’s Kitchen on Chapel Hill at the time of the inspection in February 2016, appeared before Leeds magistrates earlier this week.

Food preparation areas and equipment, utensils, appliances, walls and floors were found covered in grease, dirt and debris.

Food preparation areas and equipment, utensils, appliances, walls and floors were found covered in grease, dirt and debris.

Ali pleaded guilty to five offences and was fined £2,000, ordered to pay £1794.58 in costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

When environmental health officers inspected the restaurant, it quickly became apparent that food handling practices were poor and hand washing facilities for staff were inadequate.

Staff couldn’t easily access hand wash basins and officers found no evidence of them being used.

In addition, the staff toilet had no hot water or hygienic drying towel.

Food preparation areas and equipment, utensils, appliances, walls and floors were found covered in grease, dirt and debris, putting potential customers at risk of contamination.

Ali had also failed to register as the new food business operator as required to by law. The business also didn’t have a food safety management system in place.

The inspection also highlighted issues with fire and gas safety.

The restaurant closed following the inspection and remains closed.

Coun Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for environment and sustainability, said: “There are thousands of food businesses registered in Leeds but unfortunately there are a minority that fail to recognise or understand their responsibilities when it comes to food safety.

“Our environmental health officers will work with businesses to help them improve standards but we won’t hesitate to take formal legal action.

“Food safety laws are there to protect us whether we’re eating out or dining in. So, business owners need to be on top of their game and we as customers need to be checking and asking owners about their food hygiene rating.”

Leeds City Council regulates all food businesses in Leeds and environmental health officers regularly inspect restaurants, takeaways and shops to ensure they comply with strict food safety legislation.

The outcome of these inspections is a rating based on the Food Standard Agency’s national food hygiene rating scheme.