Ellesmere Port restaurant owner fined £4,171 for food safety and hygiene offences

17 March 2021

The owner of a restaurant in Ellesmere Port has been sentenced for food safety and hygiene offences at Chester Magistrates’ Court.

On Tuesday, 16 March at Chester Magistrates’ Court, Saeid Mehdi Hosseini Zaverah (48), Director of Yousef Food Ltd and owner of Tuscano, 20 Whitby Road, Ellesmere Port - a pizza, kebab and burger takeaway premises – was fined a total of £3,000 and ordered to pay £990 costs and a £181 victim surcharge. The defendant pleaded guilty to 12 food safety and hygiene offences.

On 26 February 2020, Regulatory Services Officers visited Tuscano for a routine food hygiene inspection.  

They found dirty conditions throughout the premises including inside of the fridges, cooking equipment and hand contact surfaces. Facilities provided for hand-washing were inadequate. There were risks of cross contamination from raw burgers being stored next to ready to eat food, and raw chicken stored next to ready to eat mayonnaise in refrigeration units. The paddle used for removing cooked pizzas from the pizza oven was being stored directly on the dirty floor of the premises and cooked hot food was being stored at a dangerous temperature. 

Several areas of the premises were in a poor structural condition, for example, rusted hot water boiler, broken wall tiles, dirty cardboard lining the floor surfaces and poor lighting. There was also an evident lack of food safety management control in the business. 

Mr Zavereh agreed for the premises to be voluntarily closed immediately until they had undergone a deep clean and food safety matters of imminent concern were rectified. A food hygiene rating of 0 ‘urgent improvement necessary’ was issued. The premises re-opened when officers were satisfied that there was no longer an imminent risk to public health.

On 18 March 2020 at a food hygiene rating inspection, requested by the defendant, officers found that whilst there had been some improvements in the premises, there remained some problems with food safety practices and cleanliness.  On this occasion a food hygiene rating of 3 ‘Generally satisfactory’ was issued.

A further unannounced inspection was carried out on 29 September 2020 and on this occasion a Food Hygiene rating of 4 ‘Good’ was issued.
The District Judge said that the defendant had run Tuscano in a deeply unhygienic way and that food safety fell a long, long way below that which is acceptable. He added that it was probably more by luck than judgement that no-one had become ill from eating at the premises.

The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Councillor Karen Shore said: “The vast majority of food establishments in Cheshire West operate to a high standard; we have a duty to the public to take effective action where others do not make the same effort. 

“In this case officers had repeatedly witnessed extremely poor conditions that posed a significant risk to the public and the fine imposed sends a clear and strong message that the courts will treat such situations seriously.

“Officers within our Regulatory Services team work proactively to help business owners comply with legislation and meet hygiene standards and food safety.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council operate a paid for advisory service for all food businesses called the ‘GET5’ scheme.  Call 01244 973486 for more information or see the Council’s website.

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