A chip shop was found to be infested with rats after a customer found a deep fried cockroach in a bag of chips.
Health inspectors found rat droppings at the Cod+ takeaway in Whitehawk Road, Brighton after the customer complained.
Owner Asif Javaid, who lives above the shop, denied breaching food hygiene regulations but was found guilty of not keeping the takeaway clean, not taking measures to prevent rats from infesting the premises and not properly supervising staff in food hygiene measures.
He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a further £1,600. But he said he already had plans to sell the business.
Len Batten, prosecuting, told Brighton Magistrates’ Court yesterday: “A customer Joanne Pope stopped on her way home to buy a bag of chips from Cod+. She got on the bus home then ate the chips.
“As she got to the bottom of the bag she found what she thought was a bone. Then she noticed it had legs. Then she realised it was what she thought was a cockroach.
“She put it in a plastic bag and informed the environmental health department.”
Brighton and Hove City Council food safety officer Kevin Newman inspected the premises on October 13, 2013.
He told the court that he found rat droppings in a storage area, a filthy microwave, greasy tiles and a huge build ups of grease during the inspection.
He said the takeaway had been served warning notices on previous occasions.
After being found guilty of three counts of breaching food hygiene regulations Javaid told the court: “Since this case was reported my family has been subjected to all kinds of abuse.
“As a result of that I had a heart attack. I'm a 43-year-old man and it was entirely because of the tension of it.
“We have suffered abuse and my wife has also had two miscarriages.” Father-of-three Javaid was found not guilty of a fourth count of failing to put in place processes to prevent infestations of rodents.
The magistrates said: “It’s clear there were several problems with the way you managed your premises.”