FILTHY KITCHEN EARNS RESTAURATEUR £6,000 IN FINES
A coming-of-age ceremony in Thornton Heath became memorable for all the wrong reasons when more than 200 guests fell ill.
The director and owner of the restaurant which catered the event appeared before Croydon magistrates (Tuesday 12) to plead guilty to a string of charges in his own name and that of the company.
Individual fines of £300 were levied against each of 20 hygiene offences – 10 for the company, 10 for the director – alongside costs of £1,880 and a victim surcharge of £120, totaling £8,000.
Environmental health officers were alerted by the event’s organiser in December 2014 when a large number of guests were taken ill.
Enquiries revealed that the food was produced by and delivered from the restaurant, which had been inspected just one month earlier and found to be at the highest risk rating, having a number of hygiene problems requiring immediate attention.
Officers visited the restaurant a few days after the party and noted that the kitchen walls, floor and ceiling were very dirty and damaged in several areas, failing to meet the standards required of a food business.
Kitchen staff were ignorant of basic food safety practices and were seen handling food without washing their hands before doing so.
The hand wash basin could not be used as it was cluttered with dirty cloths and utensils. The freezer was overstocked, with products apparently thrown in without any order applied.
The floor and walls of the walk-in chiller were dirty with food spillages and the shelving was covered in food debris. Raw meat and chicken were stored next to and directly above cooked and ready-to-eat foods, such as salads.
The washing up sink was blocked, with a marked smell of sewage.
Officers gave the director detailed advice and requested that several issues be addressed immediately. These included hand-washing procedures, improvements to the cleaning regime, repairs, and the restaurant’s food-safety management system. the director agreed to rectify these matters.
Returning the following day and finding very little improvement, officers served two hygiene improvement notices as the business was not compliant with hygiene regulations.
Six out of ten of food samples and surface swabs were found to be unsatisfactory, showing that procedures were inadequate and that food was being prepared and sold in an unsafe manner. Officers again advised the director, and required immediate improvements to be made.
A return inspection in January 2015, found some effort had been made to repair and clean, but the business continued to fall short of compliance. The food safety management system was inadequate, the cleaning remained unsatisfactory and repairs had not been completed. (Source: Croydon council press release)
THE TOWN THAT TOOK ON THE TAXMAN / £8,000 FINES FOR FLYPOSTING
A BBC 2 programme being shown tonight (Wednesday) could help local businesses pay less corporation tax.
Highlighting ‘The Town that took on the Taxman’ (9pm) the BBC 2 website says:
For some of the UK’s biggest companies, paying corporation tax seems to be optional. Using devilishly complicated – but completely legal – accounting techniques, they can run rings around HMRC.
Now, the small businesses of one Welsh town are fighting back. The local traders of Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons are embarking on a mission to copy the techniques used by their multinational rivals, and to set up a DIY tax avoidance scheme of their very own.
Presented by Heydon Prowse, co-presenter of BBC Three’s The Revolution Will Be Televised, this film follows the owner of the local coffee shop, clothing stores, smokery, optician and bookshop of on their offshore mission.
It is a journey that will take them to secretive tax havens, smart tax lawyers and even force a showdown with the taxman himself. Can they crack the secrets of the big tax avoiders and level the playing field for the small guy?
£8,000 FINES FOR FLYPOSTING
Magistrates have fined a jet washing company and its director £8,000 plus court costs after a Croydon council investigation found they had been illegally flyposting on lampposts across the borough.
On Tuesday at Croydon Magistrates’ Court, the company and its sole director were found guilty of illegally displaying advertising signs.
Council officers took court action after finding a spate of illegal signs between 8 June and 31 July last year in Thornton Heath, Shirley, Addington, Waddon, Selsdon and central Croydon and receiving no reply to warning letters, said a council statement.
The company and the sole director were ordered to pay a total of £10,270 – £4,000 each for the offences plus £2,270 in court costs and surcharges.
Croydon’s cabinet member for clean and green Croydon Cllr Stuart Collins said: “Fly posters are ugly, can distract drivers and are illegal – this result sends out a clear message that anyone who does it runs the risk of prosecution and fines.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
BECKENHAM GETS PURPLE FLAG FOR NIGHT-TIME ECONOMY
Beckenham has been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag award by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) for its night time economy.
The accreditation indicates a gold standard for town centres at night. In the same way blue flags recognise outstanding beach quality, the purple flag accreditation scheme recognises excellence in managing a thriving, vibrant evening economy atmosphere and that a town centre has addressed potential evening safety concerns.
Cllr Peter Morgan, Bromley’s portfolio holder for renewal and recreation, stated “The decision to award Beckenham this prestigious prize is very positive news and will dovetail well with the public realm improvements we are planning to make. Beckenham’s purple flag status indicates that the town possesses a thriving, vibrant and just as importantly, a safe nightlife too.
“This is not just about bars and pubs but also includes the many and varied activities which can be found in the evening in Beckenham, including the impressive range of eateries, the cinema and even the choral activities which take place in the church.” Source: Bromley council press release)