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4,500 penalty for filthy takeaway

Reporter: Robbie MacDonald
Date online: 16 January 2014

THE owners of an Oldham takeaway covered in mouse droppings and dirt have been fined a total of £3,000 for breaking food hygiene laws.

Ghulam Raja and wife Nigat Shaheen each admitted six charges concerning dirty, hazardous conditions at the UK Fried Chicken takeaway in Oldham’s Union Street. Oldham Council prosecuted the pair after an inspection last July.

Inspectors found mouse droppings on work surfaces, ingredients and floors, dirty equipment and poor hand-washing facilities.

Magistrates were told the couple, of Sycamore Close, Bradford, also had a UK Fried Chicken branch in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

Under interview, Raja was “sorry and embarrassed” about the offences, Miss Curtin said. Raja said he ran the two businesses on a day-to-day level but had not been present at the Union Street takeaway for various reasons. He had done some formal food-hygiene training but the shop staff had not.

Sheehan was involved with the bookkeeping side of the businesses, she said.

The Oldham takeaway had now been closed but the couple still operate the Dewsbury outlet, the court heard.

Sheehan told the magistrates: “I want to apologise on behalf of both us. We did not realise what was going on.”

The couple were fined £250 for each offence — a combined fine of £3,000 with court costs of £1,550.


The food safety inspectors are a quietly effective part of the Council's activity. It's not just the "spectacular" cases like this where they act on our behalf, it's the almost invisible job they do monitoring all food outlets. How many of us notice the evidence of this activity in the OMBC rating certificates posted in the take-aways we visit.

It now seems the norm for take-aways these days. I won’t be using any unless I see that magic certificate of hygiene.

As far as I am aware JMTS,it is not mandatory to display the food hygiene certificate although details can be found online, correct me if I am wrong.
Why is it, in most cases, the actual owners are never on site and invariably on another Continent?

I have said it before and i will say it again why give these dirty filthy people a second chance ? So your telling me if somebody died after consuming food prepared in these atrocious conditions they would still only be fined ? The council shouldnt take risks like this and it should be one strike and your out as they know the score before they even start trading!

Fines are not enough, these people need to serve prison time, and then be forced to take food hygiene courses.

These type of fast food takeaways should be inspected every 12 weeks.

Its about time takeaway retaraunts were forced to display their hygiene ratings in their windows. As it is the only time you ever see it is in the 5 star rated places. They're have worked hard to achieve these scores and are quite rightly proud to display them. No score show means low score. Avoid!

@timberwolf It may not be mandatory but there are enough signs displayed to show OMBC officers are doing their job and those who don't display the sign put themselves at a disadvantage if there are many who follow @Fitton Hill's example.

But NB @combo it's not the Council but the courts that have the final say.

don't use any take away, simple solution, then they will all close. End of problem.

JMTS, your telling me the late night town centre hungry drunken public walk around to see who has a good hygiene rating before purchasing food? These are the people most at risk and the take away owners know full well the hygiene scores are not a disadvantage whatsoever.
The scheme is a good idea but only if you have clean premises and display it, the dirty premises do not suffer.

@timberwolf Luckily for the late night town centre hungry drunken public Oldham's food inspectors do a good job to protect them from their self inflicted vulnerability.

There have been far too many cases like this reported in the Chronicle of late. If they cannot or will not adhere to the minimum standards of cleanliness and hygiene required then the council should have the courage to permanently close them down.

Any evidence JMTS? I am assuming the numerous premises in the articles did not suddenly become filthy hovels overnight? The pictures, to me, appear to support the fact that they have traded well below standard for some time. How often are food outlet premises actually visited? Once a month,Once every 6 months, Once a year? What are the figures please?

I used to own a Fish & Chip shop takeaway and diner in another borough, the Inspectors tend to focus more of their time on the establishments who need to improve, the more they need to improve the more visits they get. I used to get a visit every 2-2.5 years.
For this couple to have been prosecuted it must have been horrendously bad.
These people should never be allowed to run a food outlet ever again


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