Food Business Proprietor with Dead Rat in Kitchen Prosecuted

Published: Tuesday, 18th April 2017

Total fine of £4,840 issued

On 4 April 2017 Mr Harjinder Kang of Barton Road, Kettering appeared before Northampton Magistrates Court regarding five food hygiene offences at Harry’s Fish and Chips, Brambleside, Kettering. The offences were found by Environmental Health Officers from Kettering Borough Council in July 2015. Mr Kang had failed to attend a court hearing for these matters in August 2016 and a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He was arrested by Northamptonshire Police in March 2017.

He pleaded guilty to all five offences on the summons, detailed below: 
1. On 27th July 2015 he had failed to maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point principles and to provide Kettering Borough Council as the competent food authority with evidence of compliance with the same. 
2. On 27th July 2015 he had failed to ensure that food handlers were supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activity. 
3. On 27th July 2015 he had failed to repair or replace a chest freezer lid.
4. On 27th July 2015 he had failed to keep those food premises clean.
5. On 27th July 2015 he had failed to permit good food hygiene practices, namely pest control in that rat droppings and a dead rat were found in the premises.

The Magistrates considered that by far the most serious offence was charge number 5 as it related to a lack of control of pests, namely a rat infestation at the premises.

The bench fined Mr Kang £250 each for offences 1 to 4 on the summons, and £3,840 for offence number 5; this was to reflect the seriousness of that offence. The total fine was therefore £4,840.

Mr Kang was also ordered to pay costs of £2,730 and a victim surcharge of £170. He was therefore ordered to pay £7,740 in total to the Court. Mr Kang agreed to pay this at the rate of £250 per month.

Mr Kang no longer operates the premises in Brambleside, Kettering.

Shirley Plenderleith, Head of Public Services at Kettering Borough Council, said: “Kettering Borough Council is proud of the high proportion of legally compliant food businesses in the area and will support these businesses by taking action against those who do not meet the required standards. Mr Kang failed to have regard for some of the most basic food hygiene requirements in his business and also failed to attend court when required to answer for those offences. Fortunately the diligence of Northamptonshire Police meant that Mr Kang was identified and put before the court who dealt with the offences in a manner which reflected the seriousness of what was found in July 2015.”