Kirklees Council has prosecuted the owner of Huddersfield Town Centre takeaway after a live rat ran past inspectors during their visit.
Munawar Sharif (58), Director of Chicken Site Ltd, trading as Grillish on Cross Church Street, appeared at Huddersfield Magistrates Court on 13 June charged with food hygiene offences. He was fined £480 plus £48 surcharge and £750 towards costs. Chicken Site Ltd was also fined £600 plus £60 surcharge and £750 towards costs.
Sharif pleaded guilty to eight food hygiene offences and Chicken Site Ltd pleaded guilty to seven offences committed under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
In April 2018 a rat infestation was identified at Grillish by Environmental Health Officers following a complaint from a member of the public. Officers investigating the complaint visited the premises and described finding a strong smell of rat urine in the basement.
A subsequent inspection of the premises found rat droppings throughout the food preparation and storage areas, including behind ovens and fridges in the main kitchen and even in the customer seating area of the restaurant.
Officers believed that the premises had not been cleaned for a long time as it was extremely dirty throughout.
Cllr Rob Walker, Cabinet Member for Culture and Environment, said:“I’m really pleased with the outcome of this, it was an absolutely appalling breach of the Food Hygiene Regulations and also a huge breach to public trust.
“In one corner of the basement, behind a fridge, gnawed chicken bones and shredded materials used by rats for bedding was discovered and, to the surprise of the officers, a live rat ran out from this area during the inspection.
“It was the right thing to do by temporarily closing the premises and imposing fines to Chicken Site Ltd and its director Munawar Sharif. I’m sure the public will be satisfied with this outcome.”
Officers served a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice which closed the premises immediately and remained closed until the rat infestation had been brought under control and the premises appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
The offences included failure to implement procedures to control pests, failure to keep food premises clean and maintained in good condition.