Gold Peri Peri Chicken closed for a week in August last year after Middlesbrough Council inspectors found mouse droppings and poor standards of cleanliness during a routine visit. The current director of the Linthorpe Road business, Muhammad Sikande Khan, appeared at Teesside Magistrates’ Court yesterday. The business was fined £2,400 and Khan was also ordered to pay £800 in costs. The court heard that two Environmental Health Officers from Middlesbrough Council visited the takeaway on August 21 last year. “It became quickly apparent that the premises were suffering from mouse infestation,” said Katherine Metcalfe, prosecuting on behalf of Middlesbrough Council. “There were mouse droppings throughout the premises and cleanliness was very poor.” She added that there was dirt and grease on food equipment, fixtures and fittings, walls and floors. Representing himself, Mr Khan, who was not the director of the company at the time of the offence, said the company had since cleaned up its act. “Everything has been sorted out,” the 29-year-old told the court. “What happened is in the past. Everything is now under control.”
The company pleaded guilty to three offences under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 – failing to ensure adequate procedures were in place to control pests, failing to keep the premises clean and failing to keep food equipment clean and disinfected. In a statement issued after the hearing, health manager Judith Hedgley said: “The widespread presence of mouse droppings at the Gold Peri Peri Chicken takeaway highlighted inadequate management of hygiene and a lack of care and attention on the part of the staff. “The signs of mouse activity in this premises were clearly evident to anyone working there and the poor standards of hygiene found may have resulted in food becoming contaminated and unsafe food being served.”
Speaking after the hearing, Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s executive member for regeneration and economic development, added that “legal action will always be considered” where there are serious breaches of the food hygiene rules.