A DARLINGTON restaurant has apologised and said it has dismissed two staff members after a food hygiene inspection uncovered a series of failings.

Akbar Dynasty, located off the A66 in Sadberge, has said sorry after an inspection earlier this year found that it needed to make "major improvements" and resulted in a one-star food hygiene rating.

An inspection report, obtained following a Freedom of Information request to Darlington Borough Council, revealed there were more than a dozen failings including raw meat stored incorrectly, dirty equipment and areas, and a risk of contamination.

Read more: Akbar Dynasty in Darlington sees food rating plunge in latest inspection

Abdul Ali of the restaurant has since told The Northern Echo that "all the necessary work" has now been completed and that it has worked with Environmental Health to improve.

The Northern Echo:

During the inspection, which was dated March 18, an inspector from Darlington Borough Council raised concerns across all three categories; compliance with food hygiene and safety, structural requirements, and confidence in management and control procedures.

Raw meat incorrectly stored

The inspection reported food – including rice and raw meat – was not stored correctly with raw and ready-to-eat foods, including raw prawns and chicken, found stored and left uncovered on the floor of a walk-in chiller.

The report said that incorrect storage of rice, which was found under the cooking range room temperature, from the previous day, had posed a "serious risk of bacterial growth."

Meanwhile, it said cleaning and disinfection procedures carried out at the time of inspection were "not adequate," as it said anti-bacterial spray was not being used for the correct contact time as per manufacturer's instructions.

The Northern Echo:

'Dirty' fixtures and equipment

Addressing further concerns over the standard of cleanliness, the report said areas including the floor, metal racking of the walk-in chiller, freezer doors seals, splashback, taps of kitchen washbasins, light switches, hand contact points and mechanical ventilation filters above the cooking range were found in dirty conditions.

It went on to say that equipment used in more direct contact with food including a cutlery storage holder, baskets storing ready-to-eat poppadoms, microwaves, food storage containers and inner surfaces of its fridges were found in similar conditions.

Legal action was considered 

As part of the report, Akbar Dynasty was told that its standard of compliance with food hygiene legislation is poor and that legal action was being considered in relation to possible food hygiene offences.

The council has since confirmed that the owners of the business were offered, and had accepted a caution instead of full prosecution as part of the process.

Staff members dismissed 

In response, Abdul Ali, the current manager at Akbar Dynasty apologised for the failings and said that two of its staff members had now been dismissed. 

He said: "We (would) like to apologise for the one-star rating we have. 

"I can assure you we have carried out all the necessary work given to us by the health officer. 

"We have worked with them since the last visit and hopefully have them out to rate us again. 

"We had the health officer in the restaurant and she has seen the work we have done."

Mr Ali said that following the inspection it would ensure its kitchen is clean and that staff are doing all "we have to do" to ensure it meets requirements.

According to the report, the restaurant is set to be reviewed on March 18, next year.


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