Restaurant and owner ordered to pay £80,000 in fines and costs

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A restaurant and its owner have been ordered to pay a total of £80,000 in fines and court costs after admitting multiple offences regarding food safety and health and safety.

Kowser Ahmed Ali and Dada Spice Ltd, trading as Blue Moon, Fore Street, Saltash, appeared at Truro Crown Court on March 10, 2021, following a joint investigation by Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards and Food and Safety teams.

In November 2018, a Trading Standards Officer ordered a Lamb Tikka Masala from the Blue Moon restaurant and asked for the dish to be milk-free.

A sample of the meal was sent for testing and traces of milk, significant enough to cause an allergic reaction, were detected in the food.

The officer was served by the chef who admitted he had added yogurt to the dish. There appeared to be no procedures in place to ensure that accurate information regarding allergens was provided to customers.

Following the test purchase, Cornwall Council’s Trading Standards and Food Safety teams issued the owner with advice but this was not followed.

An improvement notice was subsequently issued ordering Blue Moon to provide up to date and accurate allergen information. The business failed to comply with the notice.

In July 2019, Cornwall Council’s Health and Safety team visited the premises and found that Mr Ali was operating a gas oven that had been condemned because its use posed a risk of serious personal injury.

Officers also found the electrical wiring system at the Blue Moon Restaurant had not been inspected by a suitably qualified electrical engineer.

Prohibition notices were served to prevent the use of the oven and electrical systems with immediate effect.

These prohibition notices were not complied with despite the serious risk posed from a gas explosion, which could have resulted in serious structural damage and at worse loss of life.

Dada Spice Ltd pleaded guilty to two charges under the Food Safety Act and two charges under the the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act.

Kowser Ahmed Ali pleaded guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act for failing to comply with a prohibition notice.

One charge was in relation to the electrical system at the restaurant and the second was in relation to the oven.

Cllr Rob Nolan, portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection, said: “These are very serious offences that could have put members of the public at risk. Cornwall Council takes these issues very seriously and worked with the business to put procedures in place. However, when the business failed to comply with the advice given, formal action was taken to protect our residents.”

Dada Spice Ltd was given fines totalling £40,000 with £10,000 costs and Mr Ali was given fines totalling £20,000 with £10,000 costs.

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