A takeaway owner fined for the “filthy and disorganised” conditions inside his Redcar premises has promised he will never let it get as dirty again.
An infestation of cockroaches was found inside the Raphael pizzeria on Station Road, with inspectors calling the shop “a serious risk to public health”.
When health inspectors from Redcar and Cleveland Council visited the premises on January 26 last year, they also found raw and non-raw chopping boards stored together, filthy conditions on work surfaces , sinks and taps, and chemical ant repellant very close to where food was being prepared.
Owner Hussam Fandi said he had been abroad on honeymoon for three months prior to the surprise visit, and a second hand fridge bought during that time had brought the cockroaches into the kitchen.
Fandi, 41, said: “I have been nice and clean since 2009.
“The shop has always been clean, it is clean because me and my family eat from there. I had four stars before this. I now have three stars.
“It won’t get like this again. It’s the only time this has happened.”
After the January visit, Fandi, of Park Road North, Middlesbrough, closed the premises voluntarily before inspectors later returned to ask for it to close.
Further visits found cleanliness issues, but the immediate threat to public health had been removed and the takeaway was allowed to reopen.