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Food business ban for pizza shop owner who broke safety laws

  • sliced

A pizza shop owner from Loughborough has been banned from managing a food business and fined after breaching food safety and hygiene regulations.

Charnwood Borough Council prosecuted Iqbal Hussain after its officers discovered mouldy and out-of-date food and poor levels of hygiene at Sliced in Angel Yard, Loughborough.

One inspection revealed E.Coli on the lid of a mayonnaise tub, listeria in sausages and food which was up to 47 days past its use-by date. The shop closed last year.

Mr Hussain, 58, of Hudson Street, Loughborough, pleaded guilty to three charges and was found guilty of two others.

Magistrates were told Mr Hussain registered Sliced as a food business on January 22, 2018.

Between February and June it was visited five times by council officers who noted poor food safety and hygiene practices.

During one visit, officers found raw chicken on top of pizzas where reheating would not kill harmful bacteria as well as dirty cloths, equipment and work surfaces.

Warnings were issued and while there was an initial improvement, it was not sustained

In June, officers found that food hygiene and safety conditions were extremely poor.  There were 10 ready-to-eat and raw food items past their use-by dates. Many foods were mouldy and decaying.

Test results found E.coli, a bacteria found in faecal matter, on the lid of a mayonnaise tub and listeria in some sausages. The cloths used for cleaning were also swabbed and showed a high level of bacteria.

Mr Hussain was issued with two hygiene improvement notices but he informed the Council in July that he was closing the business.

At Leicester Magistrates’ Court, Mr Hussain pleaded guilty to selling food which was unfit for human consumption as it exceeded microbiological limits; selling food that was past its use-by date; and failing to ensure equipment was effectively cleaned.

He denied two further charges of failing to keep the food premises clean and failing to protect food against contamination but was found guilty at a trial at Loughborough Magistrates’ Court on December 21 when he was sentenced.

Mr  Hussain explained to the court that he some personal difficulties which had affected him and through laziness or lack of concentration he did not follow the procedures he should have done.  He said that although the food in his fridge was mouldy or out of date, he was not selling it to customers. 

Magistrates fined Mr Hussain £300 and ordered him to pay a £50 victim surcharge and £500 costs. They also granted a Hygiene Prohibition Order preventing Mr Hussain from being involved in the management of a food business for an indefinite period.

Following the case, Cllr Margaret Smidowicz, lead member for regulatory services at Charnwood Borough Council, said: “Food businesses need to understand the importance of following the rules as they are there to protect the public, including their customers.

“I am pleased we secured an order to stop this individual from managing another food business and I hope it serves as a warning that there are consequences for poor food safety and hygiene practices, both for people and businesses.

“I would like to thank our officers for bringing this case but it’s also worth highlighting that we much prefer to work alongside food businesses and can support and advise them on how to make sure they are following the regulations.

“If anyone has concerns they can talk to us and we will help as we want successful local businesses.”