The manager of a Banbury fast food takeaway was in court this week for unsafe food-handling practices. At Banbury Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, September 18, 36-year old restaurant manager Arif Hussain pleaded guilty to 10 breaches of the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006.

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During the same hearing company director, Basharat Hussain, pleaded guilty to 11 breaches of the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 on behalf of the company – Banbury Fried Chicken Ltd in Middleton Road.

The 21 breaches included poor cleaning of the kitchen, failure to comply with hot holding requirements and a lack of hand-washing facilities.

During numerous inspections, Cherwell District Council environmental health officers also found staff were not properly trained in food hygiene standards and the company had not made use of the Food Standards Agency’s Safer Food, Better Business Pack.

Councillor Tony Ilott, Cherwell’s lead member for public protection, said: “The vast majority of food outlets in our district have good hygiene standards.

“That said, there are a few that choose to flout the regulations and ignore all efforts to bring them into line.

“Our officers did their level best to help the owner and manager of this company to improve their standards but in the end we have been forced to take legal action.

“The magistrates noted that these were serious breaches and that the company had had ‘ample time’ to address the issues. They also said customers were put at risk by the company’s failures.

“I would suggest people avail themselves of the Food Standards Agency hygiene rating system regarding any restaurants they frequent.”

Banbury Fried Chicken was fined £11,000 – £1,000 for each charge – and was ordered to pay £5,000 costs. Arif Hussain was ordered to pay £2,000 – £200 for each charge.

Anyone wishing to check the hygiene levels of their local restaurant or takeaway should visit the Food Standards Agency hygiene ratings system and type in the name of the business or its address.