Popular Banbury restaurant guilty of hygiene breach

Sheesh Mahal restaurant on South Bar in Banbury
Sheesh Mahal restaurant on South Bar in Banbury

A Banbury restaurant owner has been fined nearly £20,000 after Cherwell District Council’s Environmental Health team found they had breached hygiene regulations.

At the hearing at Banbury Magistrates’ Court on Monday, March 12, Mr Mohammed Khalid, owner of The Sheesh Mahal in Banbury’s South Bar, was sentenced to a fine and costs totalling £18,698.

The Sheesh Mahal restaurant.  Pictured - Owner - Mohammed Khalid ENGNNL00420110718160916

The Sheesh Mahal restaurant. Pictured - Owner - Mohammed Khalid ENGNNL00420110718160916

He pleaded guilty to four food hygiene offences including failure to keep the premises clean and maintained in good repair and condition and failing to adequately protect food against contamination.

Furthermore, Mr Khalid neglected to put in place documented food safety management procedures and failed to prevent and control pests within the premises.

Jackie Fitzsimons, public protection manager at Cherwell District Council, said: “It is paramount that our residents and people visiting the area can be safe in the knowledge that they can eat out safely because the food they purchase and consume is produced hygienically.

“This conviction serves as a warning to other food business owners to be extra vigilant and I would urge them to do their best to achieve the highest Food Hygiene Rating they are capable of achieving.

She added: “The council can help businesses improve their hygiene rating as we offer training courses at competitive rates.”

During a routine inspection at The Sheesh Mahal in November 2016, rat droppings were found inside the kitchen. Officers found poor standards of hygiene which included a lack of cleaning, inadequate food temperature controls and a risk of cross-contamination from raw meat.

The council took the decision to prosecute due to the seriousness of the failings identified.