A takeway boss has been told he faces jail after inspectors found dead rats at his kebab house.
I suppose at least they weren’t in the kebab meat. Or….were they?
Muharrem Kartal, 52, pleaded guilty to 41 offences breaching food safety laws at his kebab house GFC in Church Road, Hove.
At a sentencing hearing at Lewes Crown Court yesterday, Judge Janet Waddicor said the breaches were so serious at the takeaway, where two people were food poisoned, the father of two could be jailed.
Almost certainly won’t be, though.
The court heard Kartal told probation officers he accepted responsibility but in an astonishing turn told them “nobody was in danger as I have been in business 28 years and not killed anybody”.
Which is indeed a minor miracle:
Among the most gruesome finds were:
- Two dead rats underneath a cupboard under the stairs.
- The floor in the servery was covered in thick black deposits of grease, chips, cardboard and food debris, with stalactites of fat dripping from cooking equipment
- A worn salad chopping board used for cutting up raw chicken and so badly worn it was not capable of being cleaned
- No soap at the sink in the basement preparation room and no supply of hot running water to wash hand basins.
I doubt the employees cared about the latter overmuch, not being accustomed to modern hygiene standards….
Judge Waddicor questioned why the kebab house had a food hygiene rating “Score on the Door” of three out of five despite concerns around it.
Yes. I’d really like to know that too!
The court heard the lease on GFC had since been repossessed, as well as the two residential properties above he rented out.
The properties he crammed with tenants over the permitted licence amount netted him £139,000 a year, paid in cash. He was fined £45,000 last year, the largest fine to date, for breaching housing regulations.
Who is surprised? Bring on the excuses!
Kartal told probation since GFC closed he had lost all his money and was the sole carer for his “terminally ill” wife.
Defending, Sarah Thorne, in a bid to spare him jail asked the judge to adjourn the sentencing so the court could verify the claims about his wife and so Kartal, for who English is not his first language, had a firm understanding.
How can you expect the judge to believe you can run a business in the UK without speaking fluent English?
Judge Waddicor said: “His command of the English language appeared to be sufficiently good to reassure the food safety officer the broken boiler would be fixed.”
She adjourned the sentencing to next month to give time for Kartal to provide bank statements and evidence of his wife’s condition provided by a doctor.
I hope she checks them carefully.