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Restaurant fined £8,000 after 200 fall ill at party

27 January 2016 by
Restaurant fined £8,000 after 200 fall ill at party

A south London restaurant has been ordered to pay out £8,000 after more than 200 people who went to a party there fell ill.

Spiceland in west Croydon was accused of ignoring basic food safety practices after hundreds of people were unwell following a religious ceremony held there.

The failings came to light after the organisers of the event contacted Croydon Council's environmental health department in December 2014.

Only a month earlier, inspectors found the restaurant to be at the highest risk rating after uncovering a number of hygiene problems which required immediate attention.

Inspectors then visited the restaurant several days after the party and found failings in the standards required by a food business, according to the London Evening Standard.

The kitchen walls, floor and ceiling were found to be dirty and damaged in several areas and the council said kitchen staff were "ignorant of basic food safety practices", handling food without washing their hands.

The hand wash basin was found to be unusable as it was filled with dirty cloths and utensils, the freezer was overstocked and food spillages were found all over the walk-in fridge.

The restaurant was served with two hygiene improvement notices and six out of 10 food samples and surface swabs were found to be unsatisfactory.

A further inspection in January 2015 found that while some improvements had been made, the restaurant continued to fall short of compliance.

The restaurant's owner, Sivapathasundaram Premanathan, admitted a string of hygiene offences in his and the company's name at Croydon Magistrates' Court on 12 January.

Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, said : "This restaurateur, despite a number of warnings from our food safety officers, failed to ensure that right and proper hygiene standards were in place, and that his staff were aware of their obligations; now he's paid the price in the eyes of the law."

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