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Former takeaway owner fined

The former owner of a takeaway has been told to pay £3,025 after inspectors found it in a filthy condition, with people living in a storeroom and washing hanging up where food was prepared. 

Mahmud Salam was prosecuted by the council for food safety offences at the Lime Tree takeaway in Carisbrooke Road, Gosport. 

In December 2015, environmental health officers visited the restaurant and found people living in a storeroom next to a food preparation room. Washing lines were hung over food preparation sinks and clothes were soaking in buckets next to food. The toilet and shower room were in a poor state of cleanliness and repair, and there was a bucket with used toilet paper in it. 

The kitchen was very dirty, with old food debris ground into the floor and piles of food swept into corners. Walls and other areas were splattered with greasy dirt and dried food. Chicken was defrosting in a sink with a dirty tray sat in the water and lots of food sat out at room temperature. Food safety paperwork had not been maintained. 

The premises immediately closed, voluntarily, for deep cleaning and disposing of food. An inspection found a significant improvement in cleanliness when it reopened three days later. But an unannounced visit last February found further food hygiene offences. 

Salam, 41, of Woodward Close, Gosport, was charged with nine offences concerning cleanliness and hygiene, staff training and safety procedures. 

He pleaded not guilty to all charges, but Portsmouth magistrates found him guilty on all of them, fining him £1,650 and ordering him to pay a victim surcharge of £25 and a contribution to the council’s costs of £1,350. 

He has sold the takeaway business. 

Cllr Mark Hook, Leader of the Council, said: "We will not tolerate food businesses putting the public at risk in this way. We work with businesses to help them make improvements, but if they fail to maintain standards then we will take them to court."

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