The owner of an illegal £5million-a-year meat processing plant is facing jail after inspectors found machinery was being cleaned – with UNDERPANTS.
Kamran Ajaib, 27, supplied 20 tonnes of chicken per week to “KFC clones and kebab shops” from the filthy backstreet warehouse.
Officials raided Hamza Poultry Limited in Bristol after a piece of metal was found in a takeaway chicken.
They found a catalogue of health and safety breaches – including white cotton underpants which were used as cleaning cloths.
The building also had no hand washing basins or knife sterilisers and Ajaib had none of the correct licences for processing meat.
Bristol Crown Court was shown a picture of a box of meat with a pair of underpants draped over it.
The court heard how clean underpants – which were surplus stock from a neighbouring business – were being used to clean machinery.
Hamza Poultry was also unlicensed and Bristol City Council successfully applied for a court order to destroy more than four tonnes of chicken.
Ajaib, of Gordon Road, Whitehall, pleaded guilty to 16 charges of failing to comply with food hygiene regulations, between June 2010 and May last year.
Speaking after the hearing, Guy Poultney of Bristol City Council described conditions in the warehouse as “frankly unbelievable”.
The cabinet member for communities said: “This was an extraordinary case: the company was selling sub-standard food over a huge area to restaurants, takeaways and
supermarkets that were unknowingly serving it to the public.
“They were running a multi-million pound illegal operation that put the public and
local businesses at risk. Conditions on the premises were frankly unbelievable.
“Businesses should always beware of dodgy traders cashing in on the recession by offering cheap meats, and to only buy from recognised reputable source.”
Initially, Ajaib, the sole director of Hamza Poultry Limited, denied any knowledge of cutting chicken on the premises.
He told a previous hearing, held at the city’s magistrates court last year, that it arrived in boxes from EU-regulated factories and was left in those boxes.
But when officials from Bristol City Council raided the premises on Fishponds Trading Estate they found four tonnes of chicken and beef in an “unfinished state”.
Environmental health officer John Barrow, said equipment used in meat preparation – including a bandsaw, knives and thick chainmail gloves – were also found.
The bandsaw had heavy residues of chicken flesh in the interior parts and car tyres were being stored in the cutting rooms.
Mr Barrow told the court that mobile phones and receipts seized in the raid showed the meat was being distributed across the South West including outlets in Bristol, Swindon, Cardiff, Newport and Swansea.
Despite being unlicensed, the business was openly advertising on specialist catering websites with a 1,000kg minimum order.
Financial records seized revealed an annual turnover of #5million per year since Ajaib started running the business in 2009.
Ajaib told an earlier court hearing that he had taken over the business from a brother who had been “locked up” some months before the raid.
He said he had not known he needed a licence, and that the equipment he had on the site had come from a butcher who owed him money.
He will be sentenced next month.