Cockroach-infested Finsbury Park butchers fined for hygiene breaches

A cockroach-infested halal butchers has been fined for a variety of hygiene breaches which potentially put customers at risk of food poisoning.

Flies on raw chicken, a family of cockroaches and an insect writhing in a bag of semolina were all found at Khan Meat Limited, Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park.

Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard last week that other breaches found during the routine inspection by Environmental Health at 54-year-old Mohammed Khan’s shop included untrained staff handling raw and cooked meat without washing their bloodied hands and using window cleaner instead of disinfectant.

Prosecutor Susan Hewitt said: “The officer noticed meat that had obviously been frozen and was now thawing, but was illegally being described as fresh.

“There was a plastic tub of what appeared to be cooked meat drumsticks among the raw meat. As cooked meat is unlikely to receive further heat treatment to sufficiently kill the cross-contaminating bacteria, it could cause food poisoning to customers.”

She also said flies were flying between raw and cooked meat, carcasses were stored “centimetres” away from fruit and vegetables and that six cockroaches were found in a trap.

Liam Dunne, defending the married father-of-three, said Khan was on medication for depression brought on by his mother’s death two years earlier. He continued: “The business has been subjected to abject mismanagement and he holds his hands up in that respect.

Most Read

“He is acutely aware of the public health risk and his own personal problems would pale into insignificance if anyone fell ill due to his food mismanagement. He has now endeavoured to take steps to comply with food hygiene regulations.”

Khan, who lives at the premises, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of failing to comply with regulations and a further 13 charges under his business name. He was fined �700 plus must pay �500 in costs.

Bench chairman Brian Lipman said: “We were horrified. We can’t understand how someone in the food industry could allow this to happen and go home at night and sleep with an easy conscience. We don’t know how many people have been affected or suffered because of your poor hygiene.”

Mr Lipman warned Khan that any future breaches could result in a jail sentence.