A popular Turkish restaurant in North London has been ordered to pay more than £8,000 in fines and costs after inspections found a number of food safety and hygiene issues. The case against Kosk Restaurant and its director was brought by Enfield Council.
Ismail Koca, the director of Kosk Restaurant Ltd, pleaded guilty to five offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, including failure to comply with a Hygiene Improvement Notice, and two offences under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on 18 January.
The problems at the restaurant on Hereford Road, Edmonton, were first detected in the summer of 2016. A food inspector from Enfield Council visited the premises in August of that year and found numerous food safety issues, including danger of cross-contamination and poor management of food safety. Kosk Restaurant Ltd was served with hygiene improvement notices to deal with these issues and to arrange training for its food handlers.
The premises was revisited a number of times during 2016 and 2017, but the restaurant was repeatedly found lacking in its food safety management. Despite being granted an extension in time to comply with the notices, improvements were not forthcoming.
During a routine inspection in August 2017, the restaurant was again found failing to comply with the food safety management system notice, along with the discovery of a new issue: an unsafe mincer at the premises. The catalogue of failures and seeming indifference of the management prompted the local authority to take legal action.
At sentencing on 18 January, a total in fines, costs and victim surcharges of £8,653 was levied, including: £5,000 fine, £1,500 costs and £120 victim surcharge for the food business operator Kosk Restaurant Ltd, totalling £6,620; and £500 fine, £1,500 costs and £33 victim surcharge for the Director of the Ltd Company, Ismail Koca, totalling £2,033.
Kosk Restaurant currently has a ‘zero’ food hygiene rating
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said: “Enfield Council will not tolerate businesses who cannot or will not comply with the law. We take a very dim view of premises which fail to adhere to safe food standards and that endanger the health of our residents and seek to undermine our strong communities.
“Our food safety inspectors always provide advice as to how restaurants can improve their food handling, hygiene standards and training. In this case, their advice was ignored, and for that, the restaurant and its director have rightly paid a heavy penalty.”
The public can check on the food hygiene rating of any British restaurant, café or business that handles food from the Food Standards Agency’s website.
Photo from Enfield Council of Kosk Restaurant, 269 Hereford Road, Edmonton.