Takeaway contaminated food with raw meat and sold items past use-by date

FA Charcoal Grill in North Station Road, Colchester

FA Charcoal Grill in North Station Road, Colchester - Credit: Google Streetview

A takeaway has been fined more than £3,500 after a series of food hygiene breaches — including selling items past their use-by dates.

Environmental health officers found FA Charcoal Grill, in North Station Road, Colchester, had no running hot water and that raw meat containing bacteria was contaminating ready-to-eat foods.

Colchester Borough Council also found there was no adequate provision for storing rubbish and that there was an ineffective and unsuitable ventilation system for cooking with solid fuel.

Following the unannounced visit by officers on March 27, 2018, owner Farooq Afghani was charged with five counts under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

The takeaway was found to be selling foods which were past their use-by date

The takeaway was found to be selling foods which were past their use-by date - Credit: Colchester Borough Council

He was also charged with failing to comply with an Improvement Notice contrary to S33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

An arrest warrant was issued when he failed to appear before Southend magistrates on March 31, 2021, with the court finding him him guilty in his absence.

When he appeared before Chelmsford magistrates for sentencing on Tuesday, May 11, Afghani said he did not attend the March hearing as he had not read the adjournment notice properly.

FA Charcoal Grill had no hot water or proper ventilation

FA Charcoal Grill had no hot water or proper ventilation - Credit: Colchester Borough Council

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He received a 12-month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay £3,533.52 in costs, as well as an £85 victim surcharge.

Councillor Mike Lilley, portfolio holder for communities, wellbeing and public safety at Colchester Borough Council, said: “All food businesses have a fundamental duty to their customers to ensure the food they sell is properly stored, prepared in hygienic conditions and is safe to eat.

"Whilst most food businesses spend time and money keeping on top of food safety and protecting their staff and customers, there are others that don’t.

“In cases such as this, when a business is not responsibly managed and has been warned about poor hygiene and safety, the council has no alternative but to take action through the courts.”

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