Mouse droppings land The Sarga Indian restaurant in North Hykeham £3k fine
An Indian restaurant in North Hykeham has been fined £3,015 and branded a serious health risk after food was found to be contaminated with mouse droppings.
Abdul Samad, operator of The Sarga in Newark Road, North Hykeham, pleaded guilty to 14 food hygiene offences and one health and safety offence at Lincoln Magistrates Court on Friday.
Food was also found to have been gnawed by the rodents, as well as mould growing on chopping boards, dirty equipment, a blood-splashed freezer and even a chicken defrosting in a bucket.
The health and safety charge related to damaged gas pipes, found during an inspection on October 11, 2012.
District Judge John Stobart heard that since Mr Samad took over the business in 2005, there had been a history of non-compliance with food hygiene legislation, with food hygiene notices being served on him previously.
He added that the offences were of a "very serious nature", exposing diners who ate at The Sarga to a very serious health risk.
The prosecution was brought against Mr Samad by North Kesteven District Council, as part of its clamp down on food hygiene standards.
Councillor Richard Wright, NKDC's executive board member for food hygiene, said: "It is essential that the public has confidence in the quality of all food premises across the district, which is why we are so rigorous in carrying out our inspections.
"We give all our traders continuous support and encouragement to help them improve their businesses and maintain standards, but at the same time, we do not hesitate to take enforcement action where circumstances warrant it, as in this case."
At the time of its last food hygiene standards inspection, The Sarga scored a rating of only one.
The mouse infestation offences resulted in a fine of £1,000, £250 for the health and safety offence, £1,750 towards NKDC's court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.