Curry houses caught with unsafe cooking kit

Chinese and Italian restaurants are next on Woking Council’s hit list after a recent crackdown on local curry houses operating unsafe gas appliances.

An inspection of 32 Indian take-away and restaurant premises resulted in three premises being immediately closed due to the detection of gas leaks, while a further two had equipment disconnected by Gas Safe engineers because they were deemed to be of ‘immediate risk’.

Two premises were served with Prohibition Notices, which immediately forbids the use of equipment or appliances judged to be unsafe, and eight were issued with Improvement Notices requiring them to take action within a specified period of time.

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21 restaurants received letters explaining their legal requirements and recommendations on good practice, including maintenance of gas appliances, kitchen ventilation and safe lighting procedures for tandoori ovens.

The council gave the restaurants prior notice that it intended to carry out checks and followed it up with correspondence detailing their requirements and a list of Gas Safe registered engineers.

Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, portfolio holder for food and health and safety, said: "The level of enforcement action necessary proves that this initiative was extremely worthwhile and has made the borough a safer place for both employees working in these establishments and members of the public who visit them.”

The council said it was currently “considering similar initiatives” for Chinese and Italian restaurants, as well as takeaways that also use specialist gas appliances in their style of cooking.

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