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Sultan's Table restaurant convicted

10 April 2006

Sultan's Table restaurant convicted for poor food hygiene practices

The owner of a central city restaurant has been convicted and fined $9,100 for food hygiene charges in the Auckland District Court, following prosecution by Auckland City.

The convictions and fines relate to Sultan's Table, located in Victoria Street West, which has a long history of poor food hygiene practices, having failed numerous inspections by health officers in past years.

The restaurant's owner, Mr Cem Karavan, pleaded guilty to 56 charges under the food hygiene regulations, on issues including: * poor cleanliness and maintenance * slugs found in kitchen and flyscreens needed on windows close to cooking area * delays in necessary repair work to the floor * plates kept on floor * freezer and coffee beans stored in toilet * failure to display food license.

Mr Karavan also received convictions for two charges under the Local Government Act of failing to comply with instructions from a council officer.

"This conviction sends a clear signal to owners of food premises, that it is not acceptable to disregard food safety matters," says Darryl Thompson, senior environmental health officer for Auckland City. "Owners have a responsibility to ensure their businesses meet acceptable public health standards."

Comments made by District Court Judge Hubble at the time of conviction further highlight the serious nature of the case.

Judge Hubble stated that Mr Karavan had shown a serious lack of response to the repeated requests for improvement by council's health officers and had permitted a substantial health hazard to exist. He had persistently failed to obtain a food premise license and was aggravatingly repetitive in his failure to comply with instructions given by environmental health officers.

Judge Hubble also said that Mr Karavan was not qualified to manage a food business and the only mitigating circumstance was that he had closed down all of his restaurants.

Mr Karavan closed Sultan's Table in July last year. If in future he wants to apply for a food health license to enable him to open another restaurant, he must appear before Auckland City's Planning Fixtures Committee and give an explanation of why he should be permitted to hold another license. The committee would then decide whether a license should be granted.

For information on food hygiene regulations, or to look up the food gradings of particular restaurants, visit www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/services/foodsearch.


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