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Lorraine King, News editor
Friday, December 14, 2012
No.1 Halal Meat in Craven Park Road was temporarily closed by enviromental bosses
The owner of a Harlesden butchers shop which was so dirty and riddled with mice and cockroaches infestation that environmental bosses forced it to close has been fined £15,000.
Mirwaise Sakhizade admitted five counts of breaching food hygiene regulations in relation to No.1 Halal Meat in Craven Park Road.
Brent Magistrates’ Court heard a routine inspection of the shop uncovered a catalogue of offences so severe that the visiting officer issued him with a formal closure notice 13 days later on October 16 this year.
The premises were dirty, in a poor state of repair, products were open to contamination and there was a severe mouse and cockroach infestation.
The infestation was so serious that the officer found evidence of mice droppings and cockroaches in various parts of the shop, and even a bag of flour gnawed by the rodents.
By law all food premises must have arrangements in place for pest control and take all reasonable precautions to prevent rats, mice and cockroaches from getting into food storage and preparation areas.
But, despite having a contract in place with a private company, Sakhizade ignored their warnings of pest infestation and allowed it to continue until the council intervened.
Following the closure notice the shop remained shut for nine days while it underwent extensive refurbishment and a deep clean of the shop along with eradication of the pest infestation.
In addition to the heavy fine, Sakhizade was ordered to pay costs of £1,000 to Brent Council
Bill Bilon, head of consumer and business protection at Brent: “This is a very serious case in which Sakhizade has shown a total disregard for the hygiene laws and was prepared to sell raw meat and other foodstuff from his shop without any regard to the health and safety of his customers and our local residents.
“I hope that this prosecution acts as a warning to others that Brent will not hesitate in taking formal action against businesses that break the law and put customers at risk of food poisoning.”