The owner of a cockroach-infested Halifax takeaway was yesterday(Thur) warned by a judge he could face jail.
After a day of legal submissions the jury were brought back into court to hear the registered owner of Naz’s Kebab House and Grill Centre 39-year-old Mohammed Azam plead guilty to a series of food hygiene charges.
They arose out of a visit by environmental health officers to the premises in October 2012.
A few days before their visit a pest controller had put out monitoring traps in the Thomas Street South takeaway premises and the flat upstairs and when he returned he found them filled with around 7,000 cockroaches.
When the environmental health officers went in they found hundreds more cockroaches as well filthy conditions in the takeaway and they ordered the premises to shut down.
Judge Colin Burn, sitting at Bradford Crown Court, ruled that the food hygiene regulations meant only Azam could be responsible for the offences because he was the registered food business operator and two other defendants were acquitted on the charges.
The judge told 41-year-old Iftikhar Ahmed, of Rye Lane, Halifax, and 42-year-old Alquab Hussain, of Sandford Road, Bradford, that they were discharged and could leave the dock after the jury formally returned not guilty verdicts in their cases.
Following the judge’s ruling Azam entered his guilty pleas in front of the jury.
He admitted charges of failing to ensure that adequate procedures were in place to control pests and seven other allegations relating to food hygiene breaches at the takeaway.
They included failing to protect food against contamination, placing unsafe food on the market, failing to keep food premises clean and well maintained and failing to ensure that food equipment was effectively cleaned and maintained.
Azam’s barrister Soheil Khan asked for sentence on his client to be adjourned until December 12 after confirming that he had a previous conviction for food hygiene breaches in 2009.
Judge Burn agreed to the adjournment for the report and granted Azam bail in the meantime.
But the judge warned him that the offences were imprisonable and that was something he would have to consider in his case.