The owner of a Brighton fish and chip restaurant who allowed his premises to become a breeding ground for flies and rat infestation has been fined more than £8,000.
Samir Gad Salama, owner of The West Pier Traditional Fish & Chips, let spilt rat bait, chips and a puddle of fat lie on the floor while he stored food at temperatures which could allow poisoning bacteria to grow.
Despite four separate visits from city council food safety officers between last September and October, only limited improvements were made to hygiene standards, Brighton Magistrates Court heard.
An officer visited on 6th October after a customer complaint about a rat running out from the servery. The subsequently found poor standards of cleaning, the servery wash hand basin blocked and dirty and inadequate pest control procedures.
The court also heard how on another visit the officer found the premises dirty, greasy and without sufficient measures to prevent pests entering the building. There was also sweetcorn in the pizza counter which was mouldy, a hole in a skylight window which could have allowed pests in, rat droppings on the floor in the basement and flies breeding.
Food safety documents were found to be inadequate, staff were not suitably trained in food hygiene and there were no training records.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “This is one of the worst food hygiene cases the council has seen in a long time. This filthy restaurant was caught because of customer complaints, and I urge anyone who sees or suspects food premises are inadequate to contact the council.”
Samir pleaded guilty to 10 counts of failing to comply with food hygiene regulations and failing to improve sufficiently after repeated visits and advice from the Council’s Food Safety Team.
He was fined £5,000, with £3,264 costs and £170 victim surcharge.