Sarmile owner fined for breach of hygiene rules

The owner of a Nepalese and Indian takeaway in Lerwick has been fined £1,400 after failing to comply with food hygiene regulations.

The Sarmile in Lerwick’s North Road was found to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria after Sudhan Gurung, 25, failed to ensure staff had been trained to work properly with food.

He was served with a statutory hygiene improvement notice in September 2009 by the council’s environmental health department after he ignored their advice.

The notice was intended to ensure workers were properly trained in food hygiene practices.

But when environmental officials revisited the premises after the notice was served they found staff had still not been trained.

At Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday Gurung admitted failing to comply with the notice between 7th October 2009 and 17th May last year.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said: “Food had been found to be contaminated with a particularly dangerous bacteria – the nature of it was such that it could only be present as a consequence of very unhygienic practices.

“Environmental health’s preference is always to achieve compliance by way of co-operation.

“It’s a situation which is always pretty dire if they feel they are required to report a case to the fiscal seeking prosecution.

“It goes without saying it exposes the public if hygiene is not afforded an appropriate priority within such a business.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Gurung’s high turn-over of staff meant he had found it difficult to book hygiene courses for them.

However he had “taken heed” of this and had provided Mr Allan with certificates for everyone currently working at the restaurant.

Gurung had also travelled to London to take part in a course himself.

“He’s very much aware his card is marked and he will be monitored in the future.”

Sheriff Graeme Napier said Gurung should have ensured staff were trained long ago.

“It’s an inevitable consequence of dealing in food that people should be trained in food hygiene,” he said, adding it was more important than front of house or other kitchen duties.

The council’s head of environmental health Maggie Dunne said: “Through the inspection programme the council is committed to ensuring that food businesses are complying with food safety legislation to protect the health of their customers. My officers provide businesses with the guidance and advice they need to achieve and maintain the relevant standards.

“However, in the interests of public health, prosecution is an option where businesses continually disregard the law.”


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