A SLOUGH chicken takeaway has been slapped with a £16,000 fine after it was found littered with growing mould, dirt, fat and encrusted food debris.

Reading Magistrates’ Court ordered H&A Food Chain Ltd, which owned Peri Peri Original on the High Street, to pay an £8,000 fine and costs of £8,000 following a council inspection.

Bilal Sarfraz, who was running the premises, was sentenced to a 12-month community order, must undertake 120 hours of unpaid work, and was given 15 days of rehabilitation activity.

He was ordered to pay £1,000 towards Slough Borough Council’s costs and a victim surcharge of £90.

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During a routine check in July 2019, the council’s food and safety team observed multiple breaches of health and hygiene regulations such as finding fat and encrusted food debris on the cooker, in the filter system, on preparation surfaces and on storage shelves.

Heavily contaminated raw meat marinades spilled on food containers and the fridge handle was ingrained with old food.

The area for washing up was surrounded by dirty walls, the sink was covered in mould and dirt and there was a broken window nearby. There was only cold water for the staff sink with nothing to dry their hands with.

Staff were observed not changing aprons between preparing raw and cooked food and food was stored and refrigerated incorrectly – leading to the possibility of cross-contamination.

Dirty sink

Dirty sink

After a follow-up visit in October 2019, the team found no significant changes to the takeaway’s safety and cleanliness.

As a result, food hygiene notices were served on H&A Food Chain Ltd and Mr Sarfraz. All were complied with within six weeks.

Mr Sarfraz admitted a total of 15 food and hygiene breaches from July 22 and October 31, 2019, during the court appearance on January 22.

He also admitted nine food and hygiene offences from October 31, 2019 on behalf of the company H&A Food Chain Ltd.

Slough takeaway was slapped with a £16k fine

Slough takeaway was slapped with a £16k fine

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Cllr Pavitar K. Mann, cabinet member for planning and regulation said: “These were serious food hygiene breaches which could have lead to serious illness of one of their customers who chose to order food from the takeaway.

“There are simple basic hygiene standards for businesses involved in food preparation and this company fell far below what is expected.

“Not to have hot water or drying facilities for staff to wash their hands is rudimentary; to store food items like chicken and rice at the right temperature when they are high risk foods requires basic food knowledge.

“Then to have the preparation area very dirty with old food, broken floor surfaces, windows and doors which did not keep pests out, just all add up to failing which we are pleased magistrates took extremely seriously.

“Food businesses need to know our food and safety team will work with businesses to get their premises up to high standards residents should expect.”

The takeaway has subsequently closed.