A buffet restaurant that was closed down for five days and slapped with a "0" rating under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme following an inspection by officials has been landed with a £3,000 fine.
Ozone PVT, the company that owns the Ozone restaurant in Victoria Road in Aldershot, Surrey, pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court earlier this month.
Environmental health officers from Rushmoor Borough Council inspected Ozone in August last year and discovered a series of food safety issues, which led to a five-day closure.
Magistrates heard evidence of poor food hygiene practices that could have resulted in food poisoning to customers, including a lack of effective cleaning and disinfection, a risk of cross-contamination through equipment being used for both raw food and ready-to-eat food, and by a failure to maintain the premises in good repair and condition.
Environmental health offices found mouldy and dirty mastic seals and peeling paint on the window sills, as well as dirty food equipment covered in mould.
There was also a lack of completed food safety paperwork and inadequate staff training.
Ozone PVT was fined a total of £3,000, and ordered to pay the council's costs of £2,471 and a £150 victim surcharge.
Following a re-rating inspection in December 2017, the restaurant is now rated as a "4" - "Good", under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
Councillor Maurice Sheehan, Rushmoor Borough Council's cabinet member for operational services, said: "Food businesses have a legal duty to residents to ensure the conditions and practices in their premises meet the required food hygiene standards. While we will continue to support every food business, I hope this prosecution sends out a strong message that food businesses which fall short of this standard will be brought before the courts."