Undercooked chicken lands Belper restaurant owners £14,000 fine

An undercooked tandoori chicken meal, sold from Elaichi Restaurant, on Bridge Street, Belper, in July 2017, has resulted in a fine of over £14,000 for the owners, when the case was heard by Derby Magistrates on 23 August.

The owners pleaded Guilty to two offences linked to the sale of the tandoori chicken meal to a local resident who found that it was undercooked half way through eating it, and for not ensuring staff had received adequate training.

Amber Valley Borough Council officers sent the remaining part of the meal, that the customer had kept, to the laboratory where it was confirmed the meat had not been cooked thoroughly.

If eaten, undercooked chicken can cause illness which can last for several days.

An inspection was undertaken at the premises the day after the complaint had been received and officers found that chef had not been adequately trained. The court heard that the premises had a history of training and supervision issues. The chef on duty who cooked the chicken was a new employee who was not checking that the chicken was cooked right to the bone before serving.

The restaurant owners had not checked properly that the chef was suitably trained. A formal Notice was served on the owners requiring training be provided to staff. They subsequently complied with the notice.

Since the incident, a year ago, the site has ensured staff have received formal training and has now been awarded a rating of 5 stars at its latest food hygiene inspection in July.

Cllr Paul Hillier, Amber Valley Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Housing and Wellbeing commented: “Food business owners need to ensure they provide the necessary training to their employees, to ensure incidents like this do not occur.

“Business owners may be tempted to neglect their obligations but as this case demonstrates, penalties for not meeting the necessary standards can cost more than meeting the requirements in the first place.

“The Council’s food safety team will continue to use its formal powers of enforcement where necessary to protect the public and ensure the food sold by businesses is safe. Formal action will be taken against those who fail to meet their obligations that put customers at risk.”

The fine, which was reduced by a third for the Guilty pleas, consisted of £14,693 for the two offences,  £523 costs and £170 victim surcharge.

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