Rat droppings and filthy conditions at Kirkham kebab shop

Blackpool magistrates court
Blackpool magistrates court

A kebab shop owner carried on trading in filthy conditions despite five visits from council enforcement officers.

Hygiene inspectors found rat droppings and a dirty staff toilet and employees who did not wear protective clothing when handling food..

Asim Malik , 29, and his company Kirkham Kebab House Ltd of Freckleton Street,Kirkham were both prosecuted by Fylde Borough Council.

They were found guilty of 19 charges brought under food hygiene laws and three offences of failing in a duty of care to employees.

Prosecutor Michael Lavery told Blackpool Magistrates: “This is a case of blatant disregard of the correct procedures.”

Malik of Cromwell Road,Preston,did not attend the hearing and was found guilty in his absence.

The court was told he had been traced to Preston but had not been able to get a baby sitter for his three-year-old son.

The chairman of the Bench Margaret Squire issued a warrant for his arrest stating: “He was visited five times by the council in 2018 but has shown minimal compliance and has fallen far short of their requirements.”

Mr Lavery, who prosecuted on behalf of Fylde Council, said he believed Malik was still working at the Kirkham premises but was no longer the authorised food handler.

Magistrates were told that Kirkham Kebabs sold a variety of food and offered a delivery service.

On its website it boasts “We are constantly striving to improve our service and quality in order to give our customers the best experience.”

However, when council officer Kay Mortimer visited the outlet she found things very different behind the scenes.

She told the court food temperature levels had not been officially recorded for months on end.

She said that staff were handling food such as meat in t-shirts and jeans.

They did not wash their hands properly and there was a failure to control pest – there were rat droppings in a rubbish strewn back yard and mice could enter the building through broken ceiling tiles.

The owner did not employ a pest control company and Mailk confessed there was no staff hygiene training.

The inspector said: “The staff toilet was dirty and stained and other areas showed there was a complete failure to keep clean and in good order.

“The dough mixer used for pizzas was covered in grease and old dough.

“The premises were in an appalling condition with no evidence of staff training in hygiene.”

The inspector said after the first visit she left an “action plan” of what was needed to protect public safety.

However Malik failed to react to the legal demands of Fylde Council and in her next visit the officer found the staff toilet had a broken pipe

There were pools of water on the floor containing bits of toilet paper.

There was still grease and dirt in the fridge and on the chopping boards.

In the staff toilet, the hot water tap turned around and around.

In a formal interview with the council Malik said: “I think it is acceptable. I am doing the best I can.”

Malik was also said to have asked staff to use a dough rolling machine without any of the required guards.

The latest food hygiene ratings gave Malik’s shop a single star out of a possible five.

Food hygiene and safety was rated as fair but Malik’s competence as a manager was said to be poor.

The report said: “Poor appreciation of hazards and control measures.

No food safety management system.”