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Hove chicken shop fined £12k after inspection finds blood, cobwebs and mice
A Hove takeaway owner has been fined nearly £12,000 after blood, cobwebs, a mouse nest and fresh droppings were found in his chicken shop.
Brighton and Hove City Council environmental health officers were greeted with a “terrible smell”, when they carried out a routine inspection of Golden Fried Chicken in Church Road, Hove, last January.
Yesterday owner Muharrem Kartal, 47, who lives in Church Road, admitted 17 food hygiene counts including allowing a mouse infestation and exposing food to contamination when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court.
Len Batten, prosecuting on behalf of the council, said that there was “an active mouse infestation” in the shop, a build up of dust and cobwebs on the ceiling.
He said: “Fresh droppings were found in the store area and outside.”
A mouse nest – chewed papers – was found next to a pile of cabbages. The court was told pests could enter through uncovered holes in the walls and floor, equipment was coated in grease and dried food and there were blood smears across the door of the walk-in freezer.
He said officers made return visits to the shop over the next few days and there were improvements, but not enough to satisfy the council.
The shop was awarded a zero-star rating out of a possible five. John Hunter, defending, said it now had three stars. He described his client as “conscientious” and “horrified to find himself in court”. He said father-of-two Kartal had run food establishments for 16 years and Golden Fried Chicken since 2002, working until 4am six days a week.
Describing the shop as “popular”, he continued: “He [Kartal] was somewhat naïve relying on the services of others.”
But Claire Brown, chairman of the magistrates, said she did not think Kartal should blame others.
“We find the defendant highly culpable,” she said. “These are very serious matters.”
Speaking after the court hearing Kartal, ordered to pay a total of £11,877.38, said he had been trying to sort out the situation.
Councillor Pete West, chairman of the council’s environment committee, said: “Despite lots of advice and visits, the premises failed to respond, leaving us no alternative but to intervene to protect the public.”
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