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Food hygiene failure proves costly for Nairn restaurant owner

By Andrew Dixon

Unclean floor under kitchen work equipment.
Unclean floor under kitchen work equipment.

A Nairn restaurant and takeaway owner has been prosecuted by the Highland Council after environmental health officers uncovered a catalogue of unsafe food hygiene practices.

An inspection of the Al Raj Restaurant, in Harbour Street, was carried out on September 21, 2017 as part of Operation Hottah which is a multi-agency iniative involving officers from environmental health, Police Scotland, Home Office Immigration Enforcement and HMRC.

Inside the kitchen officers identified a significant number of food safety contraventions including dirty equipment, inadequate cleaning and disinfection of work surfaces, and unsafe food storage and handling practices, all of which created a serious risk to food safety.

As a result the officers served an enforcement notice to stop the food operation.

Mobarok Ali pleaded guilty to three food safety offences and was fined £4800 at Inverness Sheriff Court yesterday.

Andy Summers, head of the council's environmental and amenity services, said: "The basic principles of food hygiene were clearly being ignored and unsafe practices placed the consumer at risk of food poisoning.

"Food business operators have a clear and absolute legal duty to ensure that they handle, prepare and serve food safely and the Highland Council is committed to ensuring that food hygiene standards are met by all food businesses.

"The council takes protection of the public and food hygiene matters extremely seriously. Our officers are happy to work with and advise businesses on these issues, however, where standards have slipped to unacceptable levels, we will not hesitate to use formal action to secure compliance with legislation."

For more information about food hygiene requirements or if you wish to report a food safety concern, contact the environmental health team at www.env.health@highland.gov.uk or telephone 01349 886606.

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