Rugby takeaway ordered to pay £1,680 plus thousands in costs after customer found dead wasp in their meal

The former owner of a Rugby takeaway has been fined after a customer discovered a dead wasp in a chicken burger and chips.

After the discovery the customer reported EFC Fried Chicken, in Kingsway, to Rugby council - prompting environmental health officers to launch an investigation.

Photo: Google Streetview.

Photo: Google Streetview.

Officers visited the takeaway in August 2018 after receiving a complaint about the dead wasp from a customer.

During inspections they found a string of food hygiene safety breaches - including an empty baked bean tin on a kitchen table which staff were using as an ashtray.

All three members of staff on duty had no formal food hygiene training and the takeaway was operating without a food safety management system.

A wash basin in the staff toilet had no towel while another basin in the kitchen had no soap or towel.

Officers found flies and a wasp flying around the kitchen, while the takeaway's only insect electrocutor was at the front of the shop and broken.

Food storage issues discovered during the inspection included open jars of olives, jalapeno peppers and piri piri sauce which staff had failed to put in the fridge, contrary to the manufacturers' instructions, while officers also found a crate full of dirty spoons, knives and plastic funnels in the kitchen.

Fridges at the takeaway had dirty and split door seals, the wall behind the kitchen's grill was covered in grease and food debris, and the Perspex doors of the takeaway's hot food storage cabinet were broken and cracked.

And when officers returned to carry out a further inspection of the takeaway in December, the empty baked bean tin containing several cigarette butts was found on a kitchen table.

At Nuneaton's Warwickshire Justice Centre on Tuesday, July 16, magistrates heard the council originally started legal proceedings against the takeaway's former owner, as Mr Aachi had failed to register himself as the new owner.

When interviewed by officers, Aachi confirmed he had bought new equipment for the takeaway before selling the business.

Aachi, of Park Street in Luton, pleaded guilty to nine offences under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 and was fined a total of £1,680 for three of the offences, with no separate penalties for the six other charges.

Magistrates also ordered the 60-year-old to pay the council's costs in full - £3,946 - together with a £56 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the hearing, Cllr Howard Roberts, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for environment and public realm, said: "Food businesses which cut corners on hygiene put the public's health at risk and we have a duty to make sure owners of takeaways and restaurants run businesses in accordance with the regulations.

"The council's food safety team offers support to help businesses comply with the rules, but in cases where our advice has been ignored, we have no hesitation in taking the matter to court."

Businesses can contact the council's food safety team on 01788 533851 or email fs@rugby.gov.uk