Not so yummy...filthy takeaway exposed
GREASY WORK SURFACES
WORKTOPS caked in grease, unrefrigerated tomato sauce, pizza bases covered in a bin bag and staff who were “clearly not washing their hands” before preparing food.
These were the shocking conditions inside a Newcastle takeaway.
As well as “filthy” work surfaces and equipment, inspectors found a broken window and damaged ceiling at Yummies on Newgate Street in the city centre.
Environmental health officers said the takeaway was not safe to open when they visited on March 9 this year to carry out a food hygiene inspection.
A court heard that after the inspection Yummies was immediately deep cleaned and now has a four-star hygiene rating.
Now owner Kemal Guclu has been fined more than £5,000 for the 11 breaches of food safety regulations in March.
Guclu, 61, of Baltic Quay, pleaded guilty to the offences, despite saying at the time he was still in the process of buying the business and had no role in the day to day running of the takeaway.
Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard that inspectors visited the shop in March and saw straight away that “the standard of cleanliness was extremely poor”. Their findings included:
“Almost every surface” was covered in a layer of dirt and grease
Filthy plastic storage containers containing dry ingredients
A damaged plastic storage bin used to store flour for pizza bases
Hand wash basins were completely dry and used to store soap Yummies takeaway on Newgate Street, Newcastle City Centre and dirty cloths
A fridge with containers of tomato sauce used on pizza bases was not switched on
On top of that, the upstairs preparation room was missing pane of glass “which allowed potential pest access”.
A large area of the ceiling was also damaged and “looked as though it could collapse”.
Joanne Bagshaw, prosecuting for Newcastle City Council, said: “In spite of the filthy conditions, the food handlers seemed oblivious and continued to prepare food.”
Reading from the report, she continued: “The takeaway required a major deep clean – almost every surface and piece of equipment was coated in grease, pests could easily access the food and staff were clearly not washing their hands prior to preparing food.”
Ms Bagshaw said the officers phoned Guclu, who agreed “the business should not open and that staff use this time to clean the premises”.
She added: “Officers returned on March 16 and satisfied it no longer posed a risk to health.”
Guclu pleaded guilty to 11 counts of breaching the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013, including failing to keep premises and clean, failing to ensure wash basins were designated for cleaning hands and failing to have adequate procedures in place to control pests.
But he told the court at the time of the inspection he was in the process of buying the business for someone else and was “not physically in control of the business” at that time.
The court heard he had “a very high star rating in all his other takeaways and has a very good relationship with the council”.
Magistrates fined Guclu £500 for each of the 11 offences, and ordered him to pay a total of £7,650, including costs and surcharges.
Coun Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for the Environment, said: “It is pleasing to learn that working with our officers, Mr Guclu has now managed to get his act together and achieve a four star food hygiene rating and I would like to see him ensure that this situation is maintained and improved on.”