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Fast food operator banned after string of offences

Published on Thursday, October 27, 2016

THE operator of a fast food outlet has been banned from running any food business after being convicted of 14 food hygiene offences.

In the first case of its kind in Leicester, Raja Yasser Gulrez, who runs Boston Chicken and Pizza in Evington Road, was banned from operating any food business after inspectors discovered filthy conditions at the business.

Officers from Leicester City Council’s Food Safety Team who visited Boston Chicken and Pizza found evidence of cockroaches, inadequate cleaning and handwashing facilities, including insufficient supply of hot water for handwashing, as well as dirty equipment for cooking and storage of food. 

Food was also found to be stored at the wrong temperatures, while the main food handler did not wash their hands, was not wearing protective clothing and was not trained in food hygiene.

Leicester Magistrates Court heard how Gulrez failed to make improvements despite repeated visits from the Food Safety Team over nearly a year, leading to the council’s decision to prosecute. 

Gulrez had already failed to comply with Hygiene Improvement Notices issued in February and August 2015, ordering him to address a number of the problems. 

Gulrez, aged 36, of Welford Road, Leicester, pleaded guilty to 14 food hygiene offences, and was fined £1,500 with £5,041.50 costs, plus a victim surcharge of £150.

The court also approved a Hygiene Prohibition Order which bans Gulrez from running this or any other food business, because of the severity, longstanding and repeat nature of the offences.

Gulrez can reapply to the court to lift the ban after six months, but will have to prove that he has addressed the issues leading to his ban.

Leicester assistant city mayor for jobs and skills, Cllr Sue Waddington, said: “Food safety regulations are put in place to protect customers and ensure the food they buy is safe to eat. 

“However, in this instance the hygiene involved in food preparation and storage fell far below the requirements, and the ongoing nature of the problems meant the council had no choice but to prosecute.

“Because of the operator’s repeated failure to meet the standards expected, we have had to resort to banning him from running a food business to protect the health and wellbeing of Leicester residents.”