Filthy takeaway had mould in jars and stench of rancid chicken

These were the filthy conditions in which a takeaway was run with thick layers of grease on surfaces, mould in jars and the foul stench of raw chicken running through the premises.

Yesterday, owner Hasan Gazi narrowly avoided jail for the catalogue of disgusting hygiene breaches, but he was banned from running a food business.

When the council found Taste and Smile in Ellesmere Port being run in such a bad condition, it was immediately closed down.

The 65-year-old, it was heard, had ignored past advice from inspectors to clean up his company and he carried on in the same unclean manner.

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On one occasion, officers from the council were aware of a foul odour upon entry that was traced to rancid, raw chicken in a refrigeration unit at Rossmore Road West.

Yesterday, Judge Steven Everett described the conditions found in the restaurant as "disgusting" and said it was "beyond belief" that Gazi could run a business in such state.

The pictures which show the unhygienic state of Taste and Smile in Ellesmere Port

He narrowly avoided jail, being handed an eight months imprisonment, suspended for eighteen months, but was issued with the ban.

He must also complete 150 hours unpaid work for the community.

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In total, he was sentenced for 23 food safety and hygiene offences at Liverpool Crown Court.

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The offences date back to January 2019, a further five in August, and the final seven in February, this year.

Eight years ago, Gazi racked up four food hygeine charges.

When environmental health officers, from Cheshire West and Chester Council, visited the takeaway for a routine hygiene inspection they found dirty conditions throughout the establishment.

That included most surfaces being covered with food debris and/or coated with a thick layer of grease.

There was mould in jars, raw meat was stored next to salad and vegetables and pizza topping being stored on a stack of fabric dining chairs.

Of particular concern was a toilet that opened into the food preparation area.

They also discovered that Gazi had failed to register himself with the council as a food business operator and that the business had no food safety management system in place.

Standards were so poor the business agreed to close voluntarily until immediate issues could be addressed.

Subsequent visits also found cross contamination and food preparation issues, similar to the previous visit.

The pictures which show the unhygienic state of Taste and Smile in Ellesmere Port
The pictures which show the unhygienic state of Taste and Smile in Ellesmere Port

A visit, the evening before the defendant was due in the magistrates’ court in February 2020 to answer to existing food safety offences, revealed that no notice had been taken of advice given to him by the officers on previous inspections and the restaurant remained in a filthy state.

Today, Cllr Karen Shore, Cheshire West and Chester Council deputy leader, said: "This sentence demonstrates the extreme nature of the offences involved.

"Regulatory Services officers discovered continual flagrant breaches of food safety regulations

“All food businesses have a duty to serve food that is safe and the council has a duty to protect the health of the general public.

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"In this case, officers discovered a flagrant disregard to food safety and hygiene.

“Food businesses that do not comply with the regulations and put the general public at risk will not be tolerated."