Shamed restaurant praised for cleaning
up its act
ENVIRONMENTAL Health Officers from Wirral say they are
pleased with the improvements made at an Indian restaurant which has been prosecuted.
The then manager of Tandoori Mahal, Mr Ajmol Ali, appeared in Wirral
Magistrates Court, on Friday, 30 September 2017, to plead guilty to seven food hygiene
related offences identified during an inspection by an Environmental Health
Officer, back in June 2016. Magistrates told Ali the charges were "serious
and fined him ₤6,720.
The conditions were described by the investigating Officer as being 'the
poorest he had ever seen' as he found a number of dead and decomposing mice,
mice droppings and poor standards of cleanliness and hygiene at the restaurant's
However, in the 15 months since that inspection and the case going to court,
Environmental Health and Trading Standards Officers supported, encouraged and
motivated the new management team and staff at Tandoori Mahal to bring about
significant improvements and deliver a 'very good' 5 star rating after its
Officers have given advice on hygiene, structure and documentation which, they
say, was readily accepted and embraced.
This led to Tandoori Mahal receiving a:-
3 star rating in January 2017 and the latest 5 star rating, in September
Cllr Phillip Brightmore, Cabinet member for Environment, said:- "There are
times when formal action is the only justifiable response and we won't hesitate
to prosecute when we encounter examples, such as at Tandoori Mahal, in 2016,
where public health has been put in serious danger. However, our approach to
food safety inspections is very much to work proactively with businesses to
promote the best possible standards. Through a programme of support,
encouragement and guidance, our Officers have gone the extra mile with this
particular business and we are pleased with the improvements and compliance now
in place at Tandoori Mahal."
The conditions that led to the prosecution of Tandoori Mahal were identified on
9 June 2016, when a multi agency visit was carried out to the business premises
by trading standards and environmental health, as part of the Police, immigration
and national food fraud crime initiative.
The Environmental Health Officers was immediately concerned about the
cleanliness of the kitchen and decided to carry out a full food hygiene
His initial observation was that the kitchen walls were tacky to the
touch with a pungent odour of stale grease in the air.
The Officer then looked behind the freezer in the left rear corner of the stock
room and observed what appeared to be mouse droppings.
There was also evidence
of mouse droppings, dirty equipment and dirty surfaces and extremely poor
storage was also found across the kitchen.
2 tubs of chicken had been left for 3 hours without lids and were not
Vegetables were stored in an outdoor shed covered with
cobwebs and flaking paint and there were inadequate hand washing facilities for
staff; who were using water from a milk container after visiting an outside
The investigating Officer said he was concerned an ice cream scoop in a wash
basin inside the kitchen could become contaminated with faecal matter.
In a statement to the court, the Council's legal representative Ken Abraham
said:- "The evidence of widespread infections were clear and obvious. The
defendant and his employees were aware of the problem for some time and the
position carried on. Equally the risks that such infestation posed were or
should have been obvious. It was a significant problem that needed addressing."