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Saffron Desi restaurant fined for poor hygiene
A YORK restaurant where Prince William once famously dined has been prosecuted for a string of food-hygiene offences.
An environmental health officer found a catalogue of problems at Saffron Desi, in Micklegate, including encrusted dirt on the kitchen floor and dirty sinks and staff toilet, York Magistrates’ Court heard.
Restaurant owner Adil Azad Mughal was ordered to pay a total of £10,446 yesterday after pleading guilty to six food-hygiene offences.
The restaurant hit international headlines in 2008 when, under different owners, Prince William dined there with friends and RAF colleagues.
Sean Suckling, prosecuting for City of York Council, said: “There was a general failure to comply with basic food hygiene which could have had an impact on public health with, for example, food poisoning. The public put their trust in food businesses for food that’s safe to eat, but in this case that was breached.”
On visiting Saffron Desi in July 2011, an inspector found the restaurant was not being kept in good care and condition. Carbon, grease and debris was found in a food-warming cabinet, encrusted dirt was on the kitchen floor, there was a dirty wash basin in the kitchen, dirty bins and a dirty staff toilet, Mr Suckling said.
Mould was found growing in an ice-making machine, hard dough and food had been left out overnight and a beer optic was unclean. Dirt had become trapped where chunks of the floor were missing, the court heard.
A sink was surrounded by ceiling mastic which had become dirty and bins containing flour and rice were not properly sealed, making them vulnerable to contamination or pests.
Crumbling plaster nearby could have fallen in to the bins, Mr Suckling said.
The restaurant was also found to be failing to record obligatory food safety checks.
When an inspector revisited the premises in November 2011, they found some improvements had been made but the sink surround and beer optic remained dirty and the mastic unreplaced.
In mitigation, Mohammed Patel said Mughal had been following the advice of a food hygiene expert and had since spent £8,000 on a new ventilation system and addressed remaining problems such as improving the sink in the bar area.
However, chair of the bench Paul Ironmonger said he was concerned by the lack of urgency in improvements and said the restaurant had breached the trust of its customers.
A fine of £12,500 was reduced to £10,446 in consideration of Mughal’s early guilty plea.
Mr Patel told the bench his client “was not expecting a fine of this severity”.