Winsford takeaway owner fined thousands over false food hygiene rating

7 June 2016

The owners of a takeaway business in Winsford have been fined a total of £3,100 for falsely displaying a 5 food hygiene rating.
 
Mr Fatih Goztepe, 31, pleaded guilty to five offences concerning the Royal Kebab Pizza House in Wharton Road when he appeared at Chester Magistrates Court last Thursday (2 June).
 
The Royal Kebab Pizza House was awarded a Food Standards Agency (FSA) Food Hygiene of ‘3 - generally satisfactory’ on 5 November 2013.
 
The court heard that during a visit to the Winsford premises in May 2015, Cheshire West and Chester Council officers found the business was displaying a 5 food hygiene rating on printed takeaway menus and on their website.

There was also an old door sticker and certificate showing a food hygiene rating of 4 in the customer area of the premises.

The premises were inspected again in August 2015, and were then awarded a 4 food hygiene rating.

However, they were still displaying a 5 hygiene rating on their website around five months later in January 2016. The business had not removed the menu page displaying the five hygiene rating from their website despite Trading Standards advising Mr Goztepe to do so.

As a result of the offences committed; the defendant, who lives at Wharton Road, Winsford, was fined a £1,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,000 along with a victim surcharge of £100.
 
Councillor Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “This deliberate false advertisement of a 5 food hygiene rating misled not only consumers, who rely on the Food Standards Agency Food Hygiene Rating Scheme when making an informed choice of where to eat; but also local businesses nearby who may have been commercially disadvantaged by the false ratings displayed by their competitor.

“While the display of the food hygiene rating sticker and certificate is not yet mandatory in England, the voluntary display of the symbol must accurately reflect the most recent hygiene assessment of the business’ environment and practices.”

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