Filthy sweet shop fined after inspectors make grim find


frightened and shocked

A Pakistani sweet shop in Oldham, Greater Manchester, has been made to pay £4,000 after health inspectors found disgusting things in the kitchen which risked making customers ill.

The state of the kitchens was appalling, but was it the worst?

The shop

The Aysha Sweet Centre on Lees Road in Oldham prepares and sells a number of Asian sweets, including barf, jalebi and halwa - as well as savoury snacks including samosas and chicken wings. They are cooked and sold on the premises, and it's in the kitchens when inspectors found the real horrors.

The Manchester Evening News reported that health officials found pans caked in layers of grease, which had turned black and sticky over time and were so thick that it was impossible to see what colour the pans had been originally. The kitchen itself was in a dire state, with peeling walls, flies crawling over the surfaces, and no soap or hand-drying facilities.

According to the Daily Mail, the shop owner pleaded guilty to eight breaches of hygiene rules, and said in court that things had improved significantly since the inspectors visited. He was fined £2,400, and made to pay £1,575 costs.

Not the worst

The number of shops coming before the courts for hygiene breaches is enough to worry anyone. And the state of some of the shops to face fines is enough to make us all reconsider eating out.

We reported in November about the chicken take-away joint which was closed down after officials found an incredible level of filth and a mouse infestation. Walthamstow council had gone to court to ensure the shop stayed shut until it no longer posed a risk to health.

Before that, in August, a Leeds pizzeria was forced to close down temporarily and pay the court £2,000 after a customer found a cockroach baked into the crust of a pizza. After the inspectors were called, they also found cockroaches in pans, inside the chiller and running up the wall. They shut it down on the spot.

In May last year, a Caribbean takeaway near Croydon was hit with a £30,000 fine, for offences going back as far as 2005. Hygiene officers found an infestation of cockroaches and mice, but although they shut the restaurant and cleaned up, when the council returned they found more offences - including dead cockroaches in dirty food trays.

In January the Hummingbird Restaurant in Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park was closed down after inspectors found a cockroach infestation in the kitchen. They were called after a customer found one in his chicken roti.

And in December 2012 the owner of the New Chutney Express in Tooting, South London, was fined £20,000 for a string of hygiene offences, including a rat infestation. He even battered a rat to death in front of inspectors.

But what do you think? Is it enough to put you off eating out?