Shop fined after serving uncooked burger
AN UNCOOKED chicken burger judged unfit for human consumption has cost a Suffolk pizza shop owner nearly £3,000.Mohammad Pari, the owner of Papillon Pizza, in Haverhill High Street, was fined by magistrates after he admitted they had served up the burger, which was not cooked in the middle, to a customer.
AN UNCOOKED chicken burger judged unfit for human consumption has cost a pizza shop owner almost £3,000.
Mohammad Pari, the owner of Papillon Pizza, in Haverhill High Street, was fined by magistrates after he admitted they had served up the burger, which was not cooked in the middle, to a customer.
St Edmundsbury magistrates were told that neither Pari nor his staff had any formal training in food hygiene and there were was no system in place at the pizza shop to ensure food was safe to serve to customers.
Pari, 36, who also lives in Haverhill High Street, pleaded guilty to selling food unfit for human consumption and failing to ensure adequate safety measures were in place.
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The offending burger had been sold in January 2001 to a man whose wife complained to St Edmundsbury Borough Council, but the court was told that environmental health officers had already visited the pizzeria on several occasions.
Furthermore, a letter was produced in court which showed that Pari had been warned about standards of food care at the shop in the previous December, and prosecuting solicitor Jamieson Plummer said Pari had failed to act on the advice given.
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The burger was sent off for expert analysis which showed that it was not fully cooked and was therefore unfit for human consumption.
Mr Plummer told the court: "No-one is suggesting the man who bought the burger was in any way made ill, but having said that it could have been nasty."
He added: "It is worrying, people who go to take-away restaurants should have some confidence the food they are buying has been properly cooked."
When Pari was interviewed by environmental health officers, the court heard, he said he gauged whether or not a burger was cooked by sticking a knife into it, and when asked at what temperature the burger should have been cooked at he said 150c, when in fact the correct temperature was 75c.
Magistrates could have closed down the pizza shop, or imprisoned Pari for six months for contravening the Food Safety Act, but instead fined him £1,300 for selling food unfit for human consumption, a further £800 for failing to ensure adequate food safety measures were in place and ordered him to pay £812 towards prosecution costs.
Marc Brown,defending Pari, said his client had since changed the brand of burgers he served, and now grilled them instead of frying them.
He said he had also passed a food hygiene test and the person who served up the offending burger had been fired, although not specifically for that offence but for general ineptitude.
He said there were problems with other members of staff taking food hygiene tests because they only spoke Pharsee, which did not mean they were not capable, but simply experienced language difficulties.
The court was told that Pari had no previous convictions.
Pari was unavailable for comment.