29-May-2018

The manager of a Huntingdon takeaway faces a court bill of more than £6,000 after continually ignoring food safety officer’s advice. Pepi Smilkov of Bunters, High Street, Huntingdon was fined £2,500 for food hygiene offences, £3,455 costs and a £30 victim surcharge at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday 21st May 2018.

Mr Smilkov failed to present himself to the court and was found guilty of 21 offences in his absence. The breaches were witnessed during an inspection in August 2017 by Huntingdonshire District Council environmental health officers after receiving a complaint about the premises.

Poor standards were found including no documented food safety management system, lack of controls in place allowing for the risk of cross-contamination of food, poor temperature control, poor cleaning, poor stock control and a requirement for some structural works to be carried out, including repairs to the WC wash hand basin which was out of use. 

A second inspection carried out in October 2017 found that little improvement had been made with further contraventions observed, including evidence of rodent activity. The business had also been left in the charge of non-competent food handlers whilst Mr Smilkov was out of the country.

Despite education and advice being provided by the district council, the food business has consistently received poor food hygiene rating scores. At the time of the above contraventions the premises was rated 0, meaning that urgent improvement was necessary.

Cllr Jim White, Executive Councillor for Regulation and Operations, said: "The council is committed to protecting the health of the local community. Food law lays down basic cleanliness, structural and hygiene standards for food businesses to help keep customers safe and healthy. The Environmental Health team work hard to ensure that all businesses are aware of their responsibilities and will support those that need advice and guidance. However, businesses that continue to ignore food hygiene requirements will face robust enforcement action and ultimately financial penalties."