Spice Touch (Lancashire) Limited, which runs Spice Touch on Warton Road in Carnforth, pleaded guilty to six offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
Magistrates heard that in January 2019 a customer ordered a takeaway from Spice Touch and discovered the plastic wrapping of a cigarette filter tip wrapper within their naan bread.
They contacted Lancaster City Council’s environmental health team to investigate, with a subsequent inspection of the takeaway’s premises inspection revealing significant concerns about hygiene standards.
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Food throughout the kitchen was uncovered and stored at unsafe temperatures, kitchen equipment was found in a dirty condition, toothbrushes were found at the wash hand basin, cleanliness and repair throughout was very poor and a cigarette butt was found on top of a food container next to the kitchen’s window.
As part of the council’s investigation into the complaint the plastic wrapping was sent to the Public Analyst at Lancashire County Scientific Services to undergo testing.
Assessment of the wrapper showed signs indicative of heat treatment and bread encased the wrapper.
Following its guilty plea the company was fined £4,000 plus victim surcharge of £170 and £2,200 costs.
Coun Dave Brookes, cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health, said: “All food businesses have a fundamental duty to their customers to ensure that the food they provide is prepared in hygienic conditions, is safe to eat and properly stored. Whilst the majority of food businesses spend time and money keeping on top of food safety and protecting their customers, sadly there are still some that don’t. In cases such as this where such significant food hygiene failings are found, the council will not hesitate to take enforcement action.”
This case related to a complaint and inspection that took place in January 2019. Council officers made a series of visits following the inspection to ensure that standards improved.
The premises currently holds a Food Hygiene Rating of 3 (Generally Satisfactory), issued following a visit in December 2019.