The owner of a curry restaurant in Redruth has been fined £14,000 after a series of food inspections found the premises to be 'filthy and rancid'.

Sultan Ahmed, who owns the Amity Tandoori in Higher Fore Street, was prosecuted for seven food hygiene offences following the inspection and numerous re-visits between December 2022 and June 2023, in which there were no improvements to the poor food hygiene standards.

Ahmed pleaded guilty of failure to satisfactorily implement and maintain a documented food safety management system, to adequately protect food from contamination, to ensure food handlers were adequately trained and supervised, that the premises was kept adequately clean and maintained, and to ensure that all articles, fittings and equipment coming into contact with food were effectively cleaned and disinfected. 

He was fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £6,000 towards the council’s costs.

In mitigation, the defence put to the court that Mr Ahmed had now improved the business to a three food hygiene rating (broadly compliant) and has retained the services of a food hygiene consultancy to turn the business around. 

On sentencing the Judge summed up that the photos presented tell the story of a premises that had been filthy and rancid and that officers had given advice to the business during visits but that little heed had been given to taking this onboard. 

Food and Safety Team Manager Nick Kelly said: “Food Safety Officers always try and work with business owners informally, advising and signposting where necessary to ensure they comply with the law.”

 “Despite some inspections taking a pause as a result of COVID we are now catching up with those inspections by adhering to the Food Standards Agency Covid Recovery Plan.  We are sadly finding businesses that are now non-compliant, that were compliant prior to Covid.  

“We are also seeing a high turnover of staff working in hospitality and as such food business owners should ensure they are adequately trained and supervised. Even though times are hard, businesses should not cut corners in terms of food safety and put the public at risk.”

Councillor Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for environment and climate change said: “Every year, the Council’s officers work with thousands of businesses across Cornwall to help them to understand and meet regulatory requirements. 

 “Whilst the majority of Cornish businesses do cooperate and comply, we will not hesitate to take further action against those who refuse to work with us to protect the safety of their customers.”