Ampthill restaurant owner fined £7,000 over food hygiene failings

A dish cloth taken from the restaurant premises
A dish cloth taken from the restaurant premises

An Ampthill restaurant owner who failed to listen to advice about the cleanliness of his restaurant has been fined more than £7,000.

Mr Eddie Lai, owner of the Dew Drop, pleaded guilty at Luton Magistrates Court on April 3 to five offences of:

Floor at the Dew Drop restaurant

Floor at the Dew Drop restaurant

Inadequate training of food handlers

Not having in place a food safety management system in place

Failing to keep the premises clean and in good repair and condition (2 offences)

Not maintaining equipment in good repair that could lead to cross contamination of food.

Central Bedfordshire Council said it hadd tried working with Mr Lai, 64, of Cobbitts Road, Maulden, for a long time offering him advice, guidance and free coaching sessions to improve how he managed the restaurant.

However in February, March and September last year conditions at the premises had not improved and with co-operation not forthcoming and in the interests of public safety the council was left with no option but to take formal action.

The District Judge Leigh-Smith said it was a ‘shocking situation’ and that Mr Lai must look at his options carefully, but if he continued to trade he must be committed to improving standards as he could not continue in the same way.

Susan Childerhouse, Head of Public Protection & Transport at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “When people go out for a meal and spend money they expect that a restaurant, especially the kitchen, will be clean. Our Food Safety & Standards team have tried to work with Mr Lai for a long time but unfortunately he hasn’t taken our advice on board.”

The Dew Drop at the last inspection scored 1 star under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (for further information on the scheme please see http://ratings.food.gov.uk/)