Boss of '˜dirty' South Shore restaurant tried to intimidate and bully hygiene inspector
A restaurant boss at the centre of hygiene investigation was aggressive with a council officer and tried to imtimidate her.
Carolyn Bland who works as a food control manager for Blackpool Council said that it was one of the most difficult cases she had ever been involved in.
The owner of the Seagull’s Nest on Dean Street, South Shore, Mehmet Gumustekin, 47, was fined £35,034 for breaching food hygiene regulations.
Blackpool magistrates ordered he must pay off the fine at £1,000-a-month after he was cound guilty of nine offences.
He was also found guilty of obstructing a council officer, Carolyn Bland, in the course of her duties by trying to take foodstuffs from her.
The magistrates also found him guilty of planning breaches involving advertising placards for the outlet.
Mike Caveney, prosecuting for Blackpool Council, said an inquiry into the planning issue led to the hygiene investigation.
A first inspection of the kitchen area led to a reduction from three stars to one star in the food hygiene ratings published by the council.
He said: “There was a risk of food contamination and a danger to the public.”
He said that Gumustekin, who lives on the premises, was rude and abusive to council staff.
Gumustekin was given a warning about the dirty state of the premises and equipment and the lack of hot water in the public toilet area.
He was also warned about his lack of record-keeping and a danger of pest infestation.
A second inspection also revealed conditions had not improved and during it the owner claimed he was being bullied by the council team.
Ms Bland told the trial: “This was one of the most difficult inspection cases I have ever been involved in because of the owner’s intimidation and aggression towards me and my colleague.
“He was angry and agitated.”
She said that surfaces including the floors were dirty and equipment used to prepare and store food was also substandard.
She said that food found was past its use by dates and some - cheese slices - were four months past its best before date.
Gumustekin, who defended himself using a Turkish interpreter, maintained that the council had included his own private kitchen area in their inspection and that food found there was not for public use.