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Belfast food store boss fined over filthy premises

By Adrian Rutherford

The operator of a food warehouse which had a series of appalling hygiene failings — including filthy toilets, dirty equipment and even live birds flying about — has been fined £600.

Islam Rahman, trading as Shah Jalal on the city’s Dargan Road, was fined £100 for six breaches of food hygiene legislation.

The prosecution was brought by Belfast City Council following a routine food hygiene inspection at Mr Rahman’s premises last November.

Officers from the council’s environmental health department visited the wholesale warehouse and found numerous hygiene issues.

These included:

Dirty flooring in the warehouse with accumulations of dust, evidence of stale food debris, old mouse droppings, bird droppings and bird feathers.

The warehouse yard strewn with rubbish and a damaged wall covering in the walk-in freezer

The inspection also found dirty wall coverings which had insect webbing and bird droppings while doors and light switches were engrained with dirt.

Shelving in the warehouse was covered in dust, food debris and bird dropping, while male staff toilets were found to have dirty walls, floors, sinks and toilets.

There was no soap or towels at the wash hand basin in the food room, while a staff member was seen using food without suitable clean over-clothing.

The Belfast Telegraph contacted Mr Rahman last night and asked him to explain the poor state of his establishment.

“We do our best,” he said.

When asked for an explanation about the issues highlighted in the inspection, he declined to comment.

“I have no comment,” he added, before putting down the telephone.

After last November’s inspection, Mr Rahman was instructed on how to reduce the risks.

The premises were revisited by environmental health officers several times to ensure the necessary works were carried out.

Earlier this month, an inspection of Shah Jalal found a marked improvement in hygiene standards.

In court yesterday, the food business operator admitted to six offences under the food hygiene regulations.

Mr Rahman was fined a total of £600 for breaching Regulation 17(1) of the Food Hygiene Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006, and ordered to pay £66 in costs to Belfast City Council.</>

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