The owner of a takeaway in Hove has been told that he may be sent to prison for persistent breaches of food safety laws.
Muharrem Kartal, 52, of Church Road, Hove, was ordered not to reopen his premises, Golden Fried Chicken (GFC), also in Church Road, when he appeared before Brighton magistrates.
They were told about a catalogue of rodent droppings, evidence of gnawing by rats and mice, an accumulation of oil and grease, food waste and debris, cigarette filters, dog ends and other mess.
Food safety inspector Joanne Burchell-Collins, who works for Brighton and Hove City Council, saw stagnant slop, poor hygiene and signs that basic food safety rules were being ignored.
Len Batten, prosecuting, told the bench at Brighton Magistrates’ Court that Kartal was charged with 43 offences in November, December and January – and the council provided 120 photographs in support of its case.
Kartal pleaded guilty to all the offences and was told that the magistrates had the power to impose an unlimited fine.
But if they felt that the option of a prison sentence should be considered, they would have to remit the case to a judge in the crown court who could jail him for up to two years.
Kartal was bailed to appear at Lewes Crown Court on Wednesday 30 May for sentencing where, the court clerk said, he could face jail.
Among the food safety inspector’s grim findings over a series of visits were
• Two dead rats found in a cupboard in the basement
• Dead rats in the cupboard under the stairs
• Rat droppings all over the cellar floor and soil mounded up where rats had dug
• Rat droppings in the basement corridor
• A hole in the cellar door frame which had been gnawed by rats and allowed them access to food areas
• Spilt rodent bait in the basement
• The floor in the servery was covered in thick black deposits of grease, chips, cardboard and food debris
• Grease on the wall and pipes behind cooking equipment in the servery
• The stairs were dirty and there were cigarette ends on them
• In the basement corridor there was a dead fly on the shelf where food was stored and a live one was flying around
• A dead fly by the back door
• Lots of dead insects in the electronic fly machine
• A dead moth on the floor in the basement preparation room
• No soap at the wash hand basin in the basement preparation room and no supply of hot running water to wash hand basins because the boiler was not working
• Unwrapped cheese slices were stored next to raw burgers and raw meat kebabs
• A worn green chopping board for salads had been used for cutting up raw chicken (and) was badly worn and scored and so not capable of being effectively cleaned and disinfected
• Greasy residues, greasy water in a drainage channel and food debris in the yard