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Mouse droppings land The Sarga Indian restaurant in North Hykeham £3k fine

By RButcher__LE  |  Posted: January 14, 2013

Gnaw marks and mouse droppings on a bag of flour at the Sarga restaurant.

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An Indian restaurant in North Hykeham has been fined £3,015 and branded a serious health risk after food was found to be contaminated with mouse droppings.

Abdul Samad, operator of The Sarga in Newark Road, North Hykeham, pleaded guilty to 14 food hygiene offences and one health and safety offence at Lincoln Magistrates Court on Friday.

Food was also found to have been gnawed by the rodents, as well as mould growing on chopping boards, dirty equipment, a blood-splashed freezer and even a chicken defrosting in a bucket.

The health and safety charge related to damaged gas pipes, found during an inspection on October 11, 2012.

District Judge John Stobart heard that since Mr Samad took over the business in 2005, there had been a history of non-compliance with food hygiene legislation, with food hygiene notices being served on him previously.

He added that the offences were of a "very serious nature", exposing diners who ate at The Sarga to a very serious health risk.

The prosecution was brought against Mr Samad by North Kesteven District Council, as part of its clamp down on food hygiene standards.

Councillor Richard Wright, NKDC's executive board member for food hygiene, said: "It is essential that the public has confidence in the quality of all food premises across the district, which is why we are so rigorous in carrying out our inspections.

"We give all our traders continuous support and encouragement to help them improve their businesses and maintain standards, but at the same time, we do not hesitate to take enforcement action where circumstances warrant it, as in this case."

At the time of its last food hygiene standards inspection, The Sarga scored a rating of only one.

The mouse infestation offences resulted in a fine of £1,000, £250 for the health and safety offence, £1,750 towards NKDC's court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

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  • lynnlincoln  |  January 15 2013, 4:31PM

    ATD again (attention to detail) is this restaurant called The Saga or The Sarga?

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  • MavisEnderby  |  January 15 2013, 2:05PM

    I see the Sarga has a nice shiny new sign on its frontage. I wonder if as much attention has been given to basic food hygiene and practices in the kitchen (I somehow doubt it). If he has flouted the law for 8 years, the best punishment would be hitting him in his pocket by boycotting the place. They should have been shut down, not given a small fine. I suspect this establishment is not alone. The powers that be, need to act quicker and more forcefully.

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  • VictorToo  |  January 15 2013, 12:10PM

    "....we do not hesitate to take enforcement action." So why has it taken 8 years to bring this man to court ? I would have thought two warnings, a year at most. "....which is why we are so rigorous in carrying out our inspections." You can be as rigorous as you want, but if the guy ignores you as he so obviously has, then you should throw the book at him, not keep giving him more chances to poison the public. Don't try to pretend you've done a good job here, and what guarantee have we got that he's improved since the court case - none I would suggest, so I'm with DavidSLincoln and voting with my feet. Luckily I've only been twice but I certainly won't be going again. Spread the word.

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  • peterke  |  January 15 2013, 11:35AM

    Another case which shows our laws are totally inadequate, Surely where there was a serious health risk the owner and all his relatives should be banned for life from ever running food premises. Also the NKDC's executive board member for food hygiene should be sacked as he states quite openly its taken nearly eight years with numerous flouts against the law before he even took this owner to court , what was he doing in the mean time ???????????.putting lives and health at risk.Another civil servant who,s only real interest is payday

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  • rascall1  |  January 15 2013, 8:00AM

    Sqeak squeak Sqeak squeak Sqeak squeak Sqeak squeak Translated is "where and how will i feed my family and my many off spring' ?

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  • DavidSLincoln  |  January 15 2013, 2:39AM

    None of this surprises me. I had the worst curry ever at this establishment, and would never go back anyway.

    |   5
  • imp88  |  January 14 2013, 8:35PM

    They also recycle used pickle trays half way through the night so you end up half with new pickles mixed in with half of what was just being eaten by another table I used to work there and can tell you that for a fact...then owner also used my tax code after I had left Lincoln for uni so when I started earning in my third year I had to fight to prove I didn't work for the sarga and a full time job 80 miles away at the same time to avoid paying extra tax from his fraud luckily I was able to prove my case beyond doubt but this took 2 years of constant letters and calls to hmrc - this man is a horrible piece of work

    |   19
  • XNY556  |  January 14 2013, 8:28PM

    I must agree that eight years is more than sufficient to allow a business to improve their standards. If the courts can't resolve this problem, then hopefully the public will vote with their feet?

    |   12
  • nolies  |  January 14 2013, 7:41PM

    I don't think a fine will deter him,better to give him a stretch in prison,that might make him change his ways but he should at least be banned for life from running a restaurant.

    |   11
  • gsx1100  |  January 14 2013, 7:03PM

    One has to ask why Mr.Samad has been allowed to continue trading. NKDC, in their case, have said Mr.Samad has a history of "non compliance with food hygiene" for eight years. Surely, this is proof enough that he is incapable of running an eating establishment.

    |   21