Takeaway owner fined over hygiene offences

Published: 09 July 2019

The owner of a restaurant and takeaway, where chefs had nowhere to wash their hands and food was not kept at the right temperature, has been fined a total of almost £42,000 by magistrates.

Santosh Ragalpavi Balasubramaniam, of The Courtyard, Maidenhead, was the owner operator of Mr Biryani in Park Street, Slough, and the company director of Virundhu Ltd, when food was being served to the public between July 2015 and October 2017.

The food and safety team visited Mr Biryani 10 times in just over two years where advice was given how to improve the standards. One inspection was conducted after a complaint was made by a customer who said they had been served undercooked chicken. On its final inspection it was given a zero food hygiene rating.

The restaurant also had to be told to throw out all their food and disinfect the premises after flooding in the basement kitchen which included sewage.

Mr Balasubramaniam, 37, admitted five offences and was sentenced at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday 28 June where he was fined £9,220, ordered to pay £3,253 costs and a £170 victim surcharge. The company he was director of Virundhu Ltd, was fined £24,000 and ordered to pay £8,470 costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

The five offences he admitted to were failing to provide a wash basin for hand cleaning in rooms where food was prepared, failing to keep food at a temperature to prevent the reproduction of harmful micro-organisms that might result in risk to health, failing to keep surfaces including walls, maintained and in sound condition, as well as failing to comply with two Hygiene Improvement Notices served on 9 August 2017 for the implementation of a food safety system and the training of food handlers.

Cllr Pavitar K. Mann, cabinet member for planning and regulation, said: “Food businesses which do not provide suitable standards of hygiene on their premises when preparing food for members of the public have no place in the borough.

“It is not acceptable that people who order food could be made ill by unhygienic practices.

“The food and safety team does not only investigate but also gives clear advice and support for those who want to improve the standards in their establishments.

“Residents take a lot of notice of the five star food ratings which are awarded to premises that demonstrate the highest standards and this should be the standard every food business strives for.”

Mr Biryani ceased trading in November 2017.