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Croydon restaurant receives record hygiene fine

29 | 05 | 13

A restaurant in Croydon has been fined £30,000 for a number of food safety offences. 

The penalty, which has been imposed on Jamaican takeaway venue Tasty Jerk, is a new record fine for this type of offence in the south London borough. It followed repeated warnings and visits from council inspectors between 2005 and 2012.

Tasty Jerk failed to keep its kitchens and catering equipment clean and a number of hygiene issues such as cockroach and mice infestations and uncleaned grease build-ups meant customers who ate food from the restaurant were at serious risk of contracting food poisoning. 

"This is an appalling case of a blatant and repeated disregard of the food hygiene regulations by people who'd had plenty of warnings and advice from our food safety officers," commented local councillor Simon Hoar, cabinet member for community safety.

He added that the gravity of the matter has been recognised by the justice system and he hopes the penalty will serve as a warning to other venues to keep their premises and kitchen equipment clean.

The owners of Tasty Jerk voluntarily closed the site down in May 2012 to carry out cleaning work after council officers highlighted a number of hygiene worries. However, when inspectors returned in November, they found that the necessary standards were still not being reached. 

Baked-on food remains left on kitchen equipment, filters and the extraction canopy were among the hygiene breaches, as were pools of stagnant water found on floors and behind fittings. The company also failed to provide soap and hand-drying facilities for its staff.

Earlier this year, research by NPD Group found that visits to ethnic takeaways and restaurants such as Tasty Jerk have fallen considerably in recent years - dropping by 123 million since 2010.

Guy Fielding, director of business development for the NPD Group, said the figures were proof that ethnic venues need to seriously reconsider their offerings if they are to grow.

"This not only includes the decor, atmosphere, layout and cleanliness of their establishments, but their service levels and promotions too," he stated.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801591429-ADNFCR

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