4 Birmingham food sellers fined £40,000 for hygiene fails in Selly Oak, Nechells, town & Stratford Road

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A total of four food establishments were fined in the city between May and July at Birmingham Magistrates Court

A Birmingham chicken shop riddled with mouse droppings, an indoor market with a dirty fridge and a bakery that proved dough using wallpaper strippers have all been fined thousands of pounds for hygiene failures.

A total of four food establishments were fined in the city between May and July at Birmingham Magistrates Court – and were forced to pay out a total of more than £40,000. There were also 230 littering offences heard a the court, it was revealed. Birmingham City Council’s licensing and public protection committee published a summary of the prosecutions this week.

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Here are the details of the four food businesses which were found guilty of environmental health breaches:

Sam and Harry’s, Nechells

The least appetising example on the list is Sam and Harry’s in Nechells, which sells fried chicken, chips, wraps and burgers. Inspectors initially shut down the restaurant in Nechells for serious hygiene breaches, but it was later reopened.

On June 30 the courts found the proprietor Sajid Mahmood guilty of 11 offences, discovered in two inspections. Mouse droppings were found throughout the restaurant, and lettuce was being chopped on a dirty, mouldy board next to boxes of raw chicken.

There were dirty walls, floors, doors, hand wash basins, equipment and a dirty pizza oven. Raw meat was lying on the lid of an open jar of mayonnaise, there was a hole in the wall and the extraction unit was dirty.

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Sam & Harrry’s chicken shop in Nechells, BirminghamSam & Harrry’s chicken shop in Nechells, Birmingham
Sam & Harrry’s chicken shop in Nechells, Birmingham | LDRS

Staff were also unable to give adequate information on food allergens present in the food on sale. Speaking in court, Mr Mahmood’s solicitor, Tahir Aslam, said the owner opened the business to create a “legacy” for his son, but had distanced himself while caring for his sick wife and mother.

He said: “It does not excuse him. Ultimately he is responsible and he accepts that. He accepts the business had fallen short of what’s required. “There have been changes; some of the employees are no longer there. They were taking shortcuts; it was down to inexperience, lack of effort by those who were given responsibility.”

Mr Mahmood was fined £3,500 and told to pay £2,042 in costs. There are now two new branches of Sam and Harry’s, one in Small Heath and one in Alum Rock.

Fu Ji Meat and Seafood Ltd, Birmingham indoor market

The highest single fine was £12,000 to a stall in the city centre indoor markets which sells meat and seafood. Fu Ji Meat and Seafood Ltd was found guilty of four offences on May 27, including a dirty walk-in fridge, chest freezer and chopping board.

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There was also no hot water in the hand-washing sink and the business had failed to comply with a previous hygiene improvement notice. The business was fined £12,000 plus costs of £2,116.

Rose Bakery Ltd, Stratford RoadRose Bakery Ltd, Stratford Road
Rose Bakery Ltd, Stratford Road | Google Maps

Rose Bakery Ltd, Stratford Road

The bakery – which now has a five star hygiene rating – was found guilty in June of 10 offences, including proving dough by using the steam from electric wallpaper strippers hooked up to old fridges with holes in the side.

The bakery also did not comply with an improvement notice to provide information on food allergens, and was found to be storing flour in open containers, using non-food grade materials, and did not have a hand wash basin in the kitchen.

The bakery, whose personnel pleaded not guilty, was ordered to pay £11,000 in total, but now has the highest possible hygiene rating.

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Sichuan Garden, Selly Oak

A favourite among Selly Oak’s student population, Sichuan Garden was also found guilty of breaches in June.

On inspection, staff didn’t seem to know whether foods contained specific substances causing allergies or intolerances, or whether these were used in the manufacturing and preparation of food.

They also could not provide up to date information on allergenic ingredients in food and drinks served on the premises, and they had failed to comply with a hygiene improvement notice which had required them to put in place a permanent hygiene procedure. A fine of £8,000, plus £1,500 in costs was administered. The proprietor pleaded guilty to all three charges.

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