THE owner of a takeaway in Rubery has been fined nearly £3,000 after breaching food safety hygiene regulations.

Haroon Kiyani aged 39, owner of James’ Fast Food on New Road, pleaded guilty to seven offences including failing to keep the premises clean, not having procedures in place to avoid pests and keeping food in inappropriate conditions.

The takeaway was investigated by Worcestershire Regulatory Services’ Environmental Health officers on March 10 last year following complaints about hygiene standards.

Officers found excessive food debris on surfaces and equipment as well as insufficient hand washing and toilet facilities.

Cross-contamination issues were also identified.

A container was found in the rear yard containing used cooking fat which could attract rodents to the property and a dead rat was found in the yard.

Officers also found a chest freezer with a damp, wooden board in place of where the original lid would have been.

Inside the freezer there was 20 packs of raw chicken breasts and fillets which the owner told the court were due for collection the next day.

All the packages were damaged so that the meat was exposed to contamination from the dirty freezer and as such rendered unsafe for human consumption.

In total, Mr Kiyani was fined £2,830 by Worcester magistrates on January 7 along with £2,428 in costs and a victim surcharge of £190 making the total financial penalty a sum of £5,488.

After the court hearing, a spokesperson for Worcestershire Regulatory Services said: “We would like to thank the officers for their swift and concise action which ensured the safety of customers and avoided any physical harm.”

“Mr Kayani did work with our officers who carried out a further inspection on 16th April 2021 and found significant improvement at the business.

"They gave the establishment a level four hygiene rating which qualified as good.”