Fast food outlet takes away hefty fines

A Banbury takeaway and its owner have been fined over £55,000 after pleading guilty following a council prosecution.

Published: Thursday, 10th August 2023

waste pile

At a hearing at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday 7 August, Spicy Kebabish Ltd and its owner Adam Ahmed of Banbury pleaded guilty to a series of environmental and food hygiene offences related to waste disposal, food handling and failing to provide a waste transfer note at its Broad Street unit.

The defendant pleaded guilty to a total of six offences in his capacity as owner of the business, and to three further charges brought against him personally. The magistrate ordered the business to pay a total of £33,490 in fines, costs and a victim surcharge, and Mr Ahmed was personally ordered to pay a further £21,685.

The charges were filed in 2022 following a series of food hygiene inspections and revisits.

Councillor Phil Chapman, Portfolio Holder for Healthy and Safe Communities, said: “For many people, being able to go out for a meal or order from the large number of excellent food establishments we have across north Oxfordshire is a greatly anticipated treat. Local residents and visitors expect these venues to meet high standards for safety, cleanliness and hygiene, and the vast majority of them do.

“The officers within our regulatory services team at Cherwell District Council work tirelessly to ensure that these establishments are meeting their legal obligations and in this instance we encountered a situation where standards were not adhered to. Waste was not being contained and disposed of correctly and the business was failing to train food handlers and protect against contamination, which led to the council taking further action.”

Other issues identified on the premises included a failure to ensure adequate drainage facilities, and a failure by the business and owner to engage and comply with community protection and hygiene improvement notices relating to waste disposal and implementing a food safety management system.

All businesses have a responsibility to ensure their waste is safely contained and legally disposed of. Spicy Kebabish Ltd failed to safely store their waste on site, and also failed to provide waste transfer notes confirming their waste had been legally disposed of by an authorised contractor. They were fined over £18,000 for these offences alone.

The council routinely inspects local food outlets to check how hygienically the food is handled, the condition of the structure of the buildings and how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.

The outlets then receive ratings, and members of the public can search these on the  Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme website.