Shefford restaurant owners fined after pleading guilty to not protecting food from pests

Steven Garrott was jailed for four years when he appeared before Judge Justin Cole at Harrow Crown C

Steven Garrott was jailed for four years when he appeared before Judge Justin Cole at Harrow Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

Two Shefford restaurant owners hauled before the courts have pleaded guilty to food hygiene offences, with each admitting to inadequate proofing against pests such as rats.

Dalchini Spice and Xpress Pizza were prosecuted after failings were uncovered during visits by public protection officers from Central Beds Council.

Mohammed Chowdhury of Dalchini Spice, an Indian restaurant in Southbridge Street, pleaded guilty to two food hygiene offences at Luton Magistrates’ Court.

He admitted to not properly protecting the food and takeaway food containers against pests or contamination.

He was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,650.

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On the same day at Bedford Magistrates’ Court Khawaja Naeem, of Xpress Pizza on the High Street, pleaded guilty to six food hygiene offences, including failing to have a satisfactory food safety management system, not cleaning properly, not having facilities for the washing and drying of hands, and not having proper pest proofing in the rear store. He was fined £2,700 and ordered to pay £1,000 towards the prosecution costs.

Councillor Brian Spurr, who holds the council’s portfolio for community services, said: “The council is not in the habit of prosecuting businesses as we would rather work with them to help them overcome any issues.

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“However, both businesses failed to respond to advice and guidance to help them meet food safety requirements, and when serious issues were then identified which could have left customers at risk, we were left with no choice but to prosecute.”

The council gave Dalchini Spice two stars out of five for food hygiene during an inspection last year.

To check a venue’s food hygiene score, visit

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