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Elmswell Kebab van owner has bid to lift three-year hygiene breach ban denied by court

PUBLISHED: 19:15 26 August 2017 | UPDATED: 18:46 27 August 2017

Pictures supplied by Mid Suffolk District Council after inspections at Flames Kebabs, in Elmswell

Pictures supplied by Mid Suffolk District Council after inspections at Flames Kebabs, in Elmswell

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The owner of a kebab van in Elmswell, who was banned from running a food business for three years after a catalogue of hygiene breaches, has had his appeal turned down.

Pictures supplied by Mid Suffolk District Council after inspections at Flames Kebabs, in Elmswell Pictures supplied by Mid Suffolk District Council after inspections at Flames Kebabs, in Elmswell

Mehmet Cokgezici, who owned the Kebab Flames van at the railway station, sought a hearing at Ipswich Magistrates Court to request they lift banning order imposed in May 2016, when he was also fined £2,120.

Mr Cokgezici had pleaded guilty to eight food hygiene offences at the hearing in 2016 which included exposing food to risk of contamination in various ways, dirty equipment, and a lack of a food safety management system.

The van, which is still in Mr Cokgezici’s possesion, has not been in use since the 2016 hearing.

At court Mr Cokgezici, from Wrights Way, Woolpit, representing himself, said he was “embarrassed” about what had occurred previously. He said that Mid Suffolk District Council had been right to take action against him at that time.

Pictures supplied by Mid Suffolk District Council after inspections at Flames Kebabs, in Elmswell Pictures supplied by Mid Suffolk District Council after inspections at Flames Kebabs, in Elmswell

He also stated that he had undertaken further hygiene training and now wished to start-up his business again.

Simon Smith, solicitor representing Mid Suffolk District Council, attended the hearing along with two of the council’s food and safety officers in order to oppose lifting the ban.

Mr Smith advised the court that the original court case, reported on by this newspaper, had made the national press due to the appalling conditions and practices found back in 2015.

He also said that Mr Cokgezici had not approached the council for any advice prior to the new hearing to lift the order, and the Flame Kebabs unit had not been inspected since the original court case.

He said that the council’s food safety officers were more than willing to offer advice if needed and suggested Mr Cokgezici make direct contact with them.

On questioning from the bench, Mr Cokgezici told the court that it was his intention to return to operating Flame Kebabs if the ban was lifted. He also admitted that the kebab van did require some improvement work prior to being reinstated.

After deliberation, the court told Mr Cokgezici that they would not lift the order, but recognised that he had attended and passed the Level 3 food hygiene course.

Mr Cokgezici can reapply to the court to have the ban lifted after a three month period.

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