A restaurant owner in Blackpool has narrowly avoided jail after failing maintain catering equipment in its kitchen.
Iqbal Nooree of The Akash Indian Restaurant admitted three food hygiene breaches after food safety officers uncovered dirt and mould in the cooking area during an inspection.
They also noted dirt, grease and food debris on kitchen equipment such as a freezer, as well as fittings and work surfaces, including chopping boards and shelving.
At an initial hearing at Blackpool Magistrates Court, Nooree pleaded guilty to failing to keep the premises clean, failing to ensure the floor surfaces in rooms where food is prepared were kept clean and failing to make sure equipment was effectively cleaned.
This week he was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence by Preston Crown Court.
Nooree told The Blackpool Gazzette that since the inspection he had spent £4,000 on improving the kitchen and vowed that equipment would be properly cleaned in future.
“We had quite an old kitchen but now I have invested £4,000 in a completely new kitchen. The floors and fridges are all new,” he said. “We are complying with everything the inspectors have asked of us. In fact I am aiming to achieve a five star food safety rating and have requested a revisit by the inspectors.”
The paper reported that Nooree has one previous conviction for offences under the Food Hygiene Regulations. Four years ago he was fined £2,000 for breaches at the same restaurant.