Dunmow kebab shop owner fined for selling doner to allergic customer in Trading Standards’ sting

Dunmow High Street, where the kebab shop is located

Dunmow High Street, where the kebab shop is located - Credit: Archant

A takeaway and its director have been fined more than £10,000 after supplying a doner kebab to a customer with an allergy.

Mehmet Tek, of Bridport Way, Braintree, repeatedly sold kebabs with soya to customers despite them telling workers they were allergic to the substance.

However, on both occasions, eatery Bosphorus, in High Street, Great Dunmow, was actually selling them to a Trading Standards’ officer.

Colchester Magistrates’ Court heard owner Tek and the company he was sole director of both admitted charges of failing to comply with food safety regulations.

Richard Power, prosecuting, said: “On March 15, 2016, a Trading Standards’ officer asked for a soya-free doner kebab.

“However, it was found to contain 500mg of soya per kilogram.

“On May 19, 2016, a further visit was undertaken and to advise and warn the business. On August 12, 2016, a follow-up visit took place and again an officer asked for a soya-free doner kebab.

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“But there was 1.9 grams per kilogram of soya in it.

“Thankfully no one was hurt because this was test purchase. But there was a real risk.”

The court heard Tek had run the family business for 20 years and there had been no reported issues until this incident.

Kate Armstrong, mitigating, said Tek had an “extremely good” relationship with his customers and the community, sponsoring several groups and events.

She said: “He doesn’t wish to divert any responsibility whatsoever, but the man who served that day should not have done so. His English also wasn’t very good.

“Mr Tek has dismissed the employee.

“He is quite dispirited he finds himself in this position having had this business for quite some time. He thought he could employ an outsider and trust they could do as they were told.

“Now there are practices put in place to check new employees and their knowledge of ingredients.”

The court heard Tek feared the business would decline following the outcome of the hearing and also because a new takeaway had opened opposite his eatery.

Ms Armstrong said: “It may be customers don’t use his shop again.”

Tek was fined £638 and ordered to pay a £63 victim surcharge.

The company Tekselen Ltd was told to pay a £10,000 fine, £1,632 costs and a £170 victim surcharge. The court heard the fine was the lowest the court could give and it could have been as much as £50,000.