A RESTAURANT in York has been fined thousands of pounds after breaching hygiene regulations.

The Garden Of India in Fawcett Street, owned by Shahin Miah, was prosecuted by City of York Council for a total of eight offences, identified during inspections by the authority.

During the first routine visit by inspectors, inaccurate documentation was presented and safety risks were found, including ice cubes for customers' drinks stored in a freezer with raw chicken, a complete lack of cleaning chemicals, and raw meat being stored on the draining board of a sink where crockery was supposed to be cleaned.

Inspectors also found dirty equipment in a dirty kitchen, which increased the risk of food contamination, and ordered improvements.

However, a second inspection took place on October 24, and council reppresentatives said there had been little attempt made to correct the situation, and the inspector said conditions had actually worsened.

Mr Miah pleaded guilty to the offences before York Magistrates' Court on July 10, and was fined £2,400. He was also ordered to pay court costs of £1,581.82, and a £30 victim surcharge.

Mr Miah said he had run the restaurant for 23 years, and he had taken the council’s instruction seriously and made changes in the kitchen.

The council confirmed another inspection had taken place in recent weeks, and the restaurant now holds a three-star hygiene rating.

Mr Miah told The Press: “Everything that was an issue has now been redone. The hygiene issues have all been taken care of.

“We’re struggling at the moment, the council are making it hard for everyone. At the end of the day, we’re just trying to survive.”

Tracey Simpson-Laing, council cabinet member for safer communities, said: "Where conditions such as these threaten the health of customers, we will take action against poor food hygiene.

"This result shows that we will not be complacent and that we will take action when residents’ safety could be compromised. Those who run food premises need to realise that contamination not only leads to potential illness but creates an unacceptable cost to the health service."