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Cockroach found in a poppadom

Sole trader of the Eurasian Tandoori restaurant in Riverside, Khalilur Rahman, was given a suspended jail sentence yesterday at Cardiff Magistrates' Court after admitting six charges relating to food hygiene regulations.

Council officers from the Shared Regulatory Service visited the restaurant on March 20th2017 following a complaint from a customer that part of a cockroach was found in their poppadom when they ate at the restaurant on March 11thlast year.

The inspection that followed discovered cockroaches on the "wall and floor as well as an open drain in the kitchen."

The Prosecuting Authority, Cardiff Council - explained to the court that there was a food safety management system in place - but the procedures were not being implemented.

Clive Pursey, representing Cardiff Council explained to the court that there was an active infestation found at the premises which caused a "significant risk of contamination of food."

Paperwork found at the restaurant showed that the last time the property had been inspected by a pest control company was on December 21st2016 and there was evidence of both rats and cockroaches at that time.

At the time of the inspection Mr Rahman was in Bangladesh and his brother, who was present at the restaurant, voluntarily agreed to close the business.

Mr Pursey explained to the court that, "The business has been made aware since December 2016 that there was a pest control problem and failed to rectify it. The business continued to supply to the customer which included vulnerable groups and was a risk to the customer."

The pest infestation was rated as "category 1 harm".

A further visit was then carried out by the Shared Regulatory Service on March 27thand all surfaces had been cleaned and structural work had been carried out.

The business was described as "pest free and they were allowed to continue trading."

The court also heard that the inspections that took place in both February 2016 and September 2017 showed that there was "no evidence of pests" in the restaurant at that time.

A further inspection was then carried out on February 15th2018 and it was confirmed that the kitchen was clean and pest free, with staff fully trained with the restaurant receiving a 4 out of 5 food hygiene rating.

In Mr Rahman's defence, Jonathan Webb explained to the court that his client was of clean character, he was remorseful for what he has done, pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and fully complied with both the investigation and subsequently the Probation Service.

Mr Webb said, "The business had good food hygiene ratings in the past, the documentation was now fully up to date, staff are trained, the restaurant has a 4 out of 5 food hygiene rating and in February 26ththis year the restaurant received an award in the AAA Guide."

Mr Rahman was described as the sole breadwinner of the family, has three children and a carer for his brother and has learned his lesson.

Mr Webb said: "The business isn't making a large amount of money, but enough to allow him to support his family. The impact of a custodial sentence will be devastating on him and his family. It was a terrible error and he is deeply remorseful."

Summing up the case, District Judge Bodfan Jenkins said: "On this occasion there was no physical harm caused to a member of the public but the risk of an adverse effect on the public was high.

"This case is so serious that it crosses the custodial threshold but given your good character it is highly likely that you will not offend again. You did clean up your operation and for over a year now there has been no repetition of offending."

Khalilur Rahman was sentenced to four months in prison for each offence to serve concurrently, suspended for two years; ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community; ordered to pay £200 compensation; £1250 in costs with £115 in surcharges.

The court accepted that Mr Rahman will pay £40 a week until all the costs have been paid.

Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member responsible for Shared Regulatory Services at Cardiff Council, said: "Following the excellent work of our officers to bring this case to court, the sentence that has been given reflects the serious nature of this case. We ask all businesses selling food to adhere to the laws and standards that are put in place to ensure the health and safety of residents is maintained."