‘Filthy’ Burnley cafe owners fined

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THE owners of a “filthy” cafe in the heart of Towneley Park where out of date food was stored unlabelled and left fermenting in dirty fridges have been ordered to pay almost £10,000 for a catalogue of food hygiene breaches.

Reedley Magistrates’ Court was told that environmental health inspectors from Burnley Borough Council found dirty cloths and floors, insects, unrecognisable liquids, greasy, rusty equipment, and food debris when they visited The Stables Cafe on May 19th last year.

The Stables @ Townley Ltd, owned by the Faiz family for the last 10 years, was slapped with a fine and costs totalling £9,402. At an earlier hearing they had admitted contravening 26 hygiene regulations.

The council’s principal legal officer Mrs Emma Barker told the court the cafe, which serves sandwiches, cakes and hot meals, had been provided with help from the council in relation to food safety following an earlier inspection.

But, during the routine check in 2011, inspectors found a cardboard box with out of date bread, crumpets and scones, several open bottles of HP sauce, which were dirty and sticky. In a first-floor kitchen they discovered dirty and greasy equipment, dirty ice in the freezer, leftover turkey and custard, and a “beige liquid, later identified as batter.”

The court was told liquids kept in the fridge were “fermenting and separating.”

Further inspection of the premises revealed another fridge covered in yellow liquid and lasagna, chilli con carne and shepherd’s pie which were all out of date. There was also plaster missing in some areas of the kitchen and, in the staff toilet, inspectors discovered cigarette butts and ash on the floor.

Mrs Barker told the court there was also found to be a build-up of flies and insects, showing a lack of cleaning.

Miss Akeela Faiz, who was company secretary at the time of the breaches, apologised to magistrates and said a relative, who was managing the cafe on behalf of the family, had failed to ensure the appropriate food safety checks were carried out and insisted, since the inspection, the failings had been rectified.

She said her sister had now taken over the lease of the building and was continuing to run the cafe.

“We immediately stepped back into the business as a family and rectified the situation.

“We didn’t visit the cafe as frequently as we should have done. All the food safety processes were in place but the manager didn’t continue. He just wasn’t bothered,” she said.