18 November 2016
A hot food takeaway owner was fined a total of £8,067 for food hygiene offences by magistrates earlier this week.
Nico Cebani, business operator at Chatanoga in Holme Lane, Hillsborough, pleaded guilty to not complying with five Food Hygiene Improvement Notices at Sheffield Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 15 November.
In July 2015 the takeaway was given a food hygiene rating of 1. Environmental Health Officers had provided advice to Mr Cebani over a number of visits, in order to protect public health, and to help improve the low food hygiene ratings the business was regularly scoring.
A total of eight Food Hygiene Improvement Notices were served on Mr Cebani in March 2016 for offences including lack of a written food safety management system, various items of disrepair and unfinished structural and pest-proofing works. Despite a request for a time extension to be granted, five out of the eight notices had still not been complied with after the expiry date.
Mr Cebani also refused to attend an interview at council offices. Prosecution proceedings were then taken for non-compliance with the legal notices.
Councillor Tony Downing, Cabinet Advisor for the Environment at Sheffield City Council, said: “These were serious issues and not having a food safety management system could have led to a food poisoning outbreak..
“Despite our ongoing efforts to provide support to Mr Cebani, he failed to act which meant we had no choice but to prosecute.
“We hope this sends a clear message to other food outlets that we take our responsibilities to protect people’s health seriously.”
Chartered Environmental Health Officer David Fenn added: “We try our hardest to work with food businesses to provide advice and support on how to comply with food hygiene regulations and avoid legal action.
“This is both to protect public health and to help businesses gain a good food hygiene rating.
“However, sometimes business owners repeatedly fail to take note of this advice and we are forced to take enforcement action.
“Businesses should note that serious or repeated failures to comply with Environmental Health officers’ requests and legal notices can and will result in prosecution proceedings being taken by the council.”
- A small team of Food Safety Environmental Health Officers inspect the city’s 5,000-plus food premises on a routine basis and respond to numerous complaints and food poisoning incidents.
- Businesses are rated under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and scores range between 0 ‘Major Improvement Necessary’ and 5 ‘Very Good’ and can be viewed online at www.food.gov.uk.
- Most of the time businesses are responsive, act on advice and make the necessary improvements needed. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to take enforcement action including the service of Hygiene Improvement Notices.
- These legal Notices specify specific improvements to be made by a definite timescale (no shorter than 14 days) and, unless an appeal is made against the notices to a magistrates court, it is an offence not to comply by the date stated.
- A fine of up to £5,000 per notice or a prison sentence can be issued by the courts.