Restaurateur cops fine after rodents run riot in his kitchen

A restaurateur has been fined £3,000 after pleading guilty to 10 food hygiene offences, including four that related to the presence of a “significant” rodent infestation.

Rysul Asad, the former proprietor of Gulshan in Cardigan, was hauled before magistrates at Aberystwyth Justice Centre after inspectors uncovered a raft of hygiene failures.

Four offences related to the rodent problem at the restaurant, which was under Mr Asad’s control at the time. A further five offences related to the poor standards of cleaning found during the investigation.

Emergency action was taken by Ceredigion County Council environmental health officers last September following the discovery of an active rodent infestation at the premises, and resulted in the immediate closure of the food business.

Rodent activity, including the presence of droppings, entry points and gnawing, was discovered within food preparation and food storage areas of the premises. Furthermore, officers also discovered dirty equipment and very poor standards of cleaning.

Cabinet member for public protection services, councillor Gareth Lloyd, said: “Food hygiene inspections, and food hygiene ratings shown on the doors of the majority of food businesses in Ceredigion, gives reassurance to the public who live, work and visit the county that the food they eat is safe and has been prepared hygienically. However, on rare occasions the council must take action to protect public health and the reputation of our excellent hospitality industry who work hard to maintain standards.”

Mr Asad also pleaded guilty to a further offence of failing to register a his new food business, namely Shatun Sharha Limited trading as Shampan the Boat Restaurant and Takeaway in Cardigan, for which he is now the proprietor.

He failed to notify the commercial services team at Ceredigion County Council of this change following his departure from Gulshan in November 2017.

Councillor Lloyd added: “Cases like this underline the importance of the work of our food and safety team and the value of our inspection programme. The food safety team works hard with local businesses to meet and maintain legal food hygiene standards to ensure the best hygiene safety in our county.”

The Mmagistrates imposed a total financial penalty of £3,107 on Mr Asad for the offences. This included council costs and victim surcharge.

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