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Henley restaurant owner fined for food safety breach

The owner of the Mezo Restaurant and Café in Henley, Tahsin Kan, has been ordered to pay over £22,000, after his business was forced to close in 2019 due to a repeated breach of food safety laws.

The charges follow a series of inspections by South Oxfordshire District Council environmental health officers between September 2018 and May 2019.  

During that time the officers found inadequate hand washing facilities for staff, a poor standard of cleanliness in the areas where food was stored and prepared, and equipment such as chopping boards were found to be mouldy and in poor condition. 

Kitchen staff also reportedly failed to clean knives between uses when cooking raw food. 

On 6 November at Oxford Magistrates Court, a judge fined the restaurant £2,000 for each of the eight food hygiene offences and £4,000 for a health and safety offence.

They also imposed a victim surcharge of £181.00 and awarded the council full prosecution costs of £2,513.22 – a total of £22,694.22. As the sole director, Kan is responsible for paying this sum.

Cllr David Rouane, South Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for housing and the environment, said: “The council’s environmental health officers inspect food premises across the district to ensure the safety and health of staff and customers.

“They will always work to help companies improve if their standards fall below what is required by law. However, if restaurants ignore the warnings and advice, the council is duty bound to prosecute to protect people’s health.”

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