A restaurant owner fined £10,000 for breaching hygiene regulations has issued an open invitation to customers to view its kitchens anytime they want.
The Patti Raj Indian restaurant in Swansea was hit with the fine last week for offences committed at the end of 2010 and in August 2011.
Food inspectors found catering equipment such as microwaves to be dirty when they visited, while mould was growing in the ice machine and the same chopping boards were being used for raw and cooked meat. Food was also being stored at the wrong temperatures.
Owner Mahbub Noor insists the venue has since introduced strict hygiene procedures and put its misdemeanours behind it, so much so that he says any customer is welcome to see behind the scenes for themself.
“We have an open kitchen policy, so any of our customers can come into our kitchen at any time and have a look,” he told the South Wales Evening Post.
Given that letting customers into a commercial kitchen carries all sorts of health and safety risks, it is likely that Noor’s invitation is more of a gesture to show customers that it has changed its ways.
“The main failure was our record keeping,” he told the paper. “Our staff did not follow procedure, but of course the buck lies with us. We rectified the matter and received a four-star hygiene rating. We have been told it would have been a five star. We have a very high standard of cooking.”
The paper added that during its hearing, the company revealed it had spent a “substantial” amount of money on equipment and had put staff into training since the inspections.