A catering firm owner spared jail after being hauled to court for serious hygiene offences has been ordered to make improvements to his kitchen.
Rohit Patel, who runs Wellingborough catering business R Caterers, was prosecuted after officers discovered his premises had no hot water and filthy conditions.
He pleaded guilty to six food hygiene offences at the end of last year, but due to the seriousness of the offences the Probation Service was asked to provide a report to the Magistrates Court on sentencing.
Earlier this week, Northampton Crown Court issued Mr Patel with a 12 month community order with 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £1500 towards costs to the council.
When council officers carried out an inspection at the business – which produces hot food for the elderly – they found the premises had no hot water supply to either the kitchen or toilet, and was in a filthy condition throughout.
Conditions were so bad officers believed there was an imminent health risk to the public.
The premises was filthy with dripping grease on walls, ingrained dirt on surfaces and food equipment, insufficient work surfaces, posing a significant risk of cross contamination to food.
The risk was so significant and the general conditions so poor that Mr Rohit Patel agreed to voluntarily close the business until such a time that the health risk to the public had been removed.
Due to the conditions found at the time of the inspection, however, the owner was prosecuted.
Leader of the Borough Council of Wellingborough, Cllr Martin Griffiths, said: “Officers found appalling conditions when they inspected this catering business. There was no hot water to the premises and the whole place was filthy.
“We work informally with businesses where possible to make sure high standards are maintained. In this case we had visited the business on a number of occasions, but when considerable failings are found that significantly risk public health, we won’t hesitate to take enforcement action.
“These offences were particularly serious. The public’s safety is a key priority and we will do whatever is necessary to make sure people have peace of mind when eating food from a registered food business within the borough.”
Officers have now authorised for the premises to re-open following installation of a new hot water boiler, kitchen and toilet refurbishment and additional food preparation surfaces provided.
The council is working proactively with Mr Patel to improve his businesses Food Hygiene Rating Score.