Faeces-encrusted toilet and congealed blood land grim takeaway boss in court

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A takeaway owner landed himself in court after a shocking report exposed a series of vile conditions at the shop which included bloody appliances and a toilet pan "encrusted with faeces."

The former owner of Salt and Pepper takeaway in Larchfield Street, Darlington, County Durham, admitted to failing to keep his business clean last month after inspectors found a refrigerator with "congealed blood" and margarine stored in the WC lobby.

A Food Standards Agency inspector slapped the fast food joint with a zero star rating as disgusting photos revealed the grim conditions at the property, which led to the owner being ordered to pay over £800 in court.

A Freedom of Information request has now disclosed the extent of the revolting takeaway, which Darlington Council confirmed are now operating under a different name and owner, reports Teeside Live.

The report revealed raw food like bacon was being stored near cooked foods, there was rice and food debris on the floor during the visit back in May 2021.

The top of the cistern of the staff toilet was missing meaning the toilet could not be flushed.

Burger sauce had been opened and left at room temperature and could lead to food poisoning while inspectors also found a packed of cigarettes and a purse being stored in the main kitchen, the report says.

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Outlining that the level of food hygiene awareness amongst staff was "inadequate", the inspector goes on to say: "I am very concerned that the practices seen during my inspection, together with the lack of staff awareness of food safety systems, indicate a lack of management controls over food operations in your business."

"You were selling a variety of sandwiches with a use by date of six days. This was despite using some ingredients with a two-day sheld life (in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions) eg. tinned corned beef in the sandwiches."

On Tuesday, January 18, the former owner appeared at Peterlee Magistrates' Court and admitted three charges of failing to meet the EU Hygiene Regulations.

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He was fined a total of £360 and ordered to pay court costs of £475 and a £36 surcharge at Peterlee Magistrates' Court on January 18 – taking the total to £871.

Councillor Alan Marshall, cabinet member for economy, said: “The pictures taken by the environmental health team at this venue are shocking and show the importance of our robust approach to making sure commercial kitchens across Darlington are safe and clean for customers.

"All kitchens are inspected routinely and we will not hesitate to act where there is evidence of poor practice or a risk to public health.

“I would encourage anyone who has concerns about cleanliness or food hygiene at a food business to contact our environmental health team direct and raise the alarm.”

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