A Crawley kebab shop and its owner have been ordered to pay £10,005 for violations of food safety and standards.
Nihat Koksal, owner of Troy Kebab in Crawley High Street, sold a kebab containing milk, despite a milk allergy being declared, and made misleading statements about the meat content in the takeaway’s doner kebab. The verdict was delivered by Crawley Magistrates Court on Tuesday 29 August 2023 following an investigation by West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Service. Mr Koksal, 57, of Pound Hill, Crawley, pleaded guilty on all four charges.
An investigation was triggered following a visit to the shop by an officer from the council’s trading standards who provided comprehensive food safety advice which included allergen advice.
However, in early August 2022, a test purchase was made by a Trading Standards officer, who declared a milk allergy. The test purchase showed that the shop had failed to check packaging or documentation before serving the kebab. This lapse not only posed a health risk but also violated labelling standards, as the kebab was falsely advertised as a ‘lamb doner’. Analysis of the kebab found it contained both milk and mixed meats and only 28.7 percent lamb, meaning the kebab was both unsafe and mis-described.
Richard Sargeant, West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Team Manager, commented: “This establishment displayed significant irresponsibility by serving a kebab with milk, even after being informed of the customer’s milk allergy. Consumers have a right to rely on accurate food descriptions from businesses, and we urge all food retailers to take this conviction as a cautionary example and ensure the accuracy of their product descriptions.”
Fines included £4,000 for the company over the allergen-related offences and £1,000 for mis-description. The company director, Mr Koksal, was fined £615 and £246 respectively for the same offences. In addition to the fines, victim surcharges of £2,000 for the company and £344 for Mr Koksal were imposed, along with court costs of £900 for both parties. The total financial penalty amounted to £10,005.
Cllr Duncan Crow, Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “This case emphasises the council’s commitment to uphold food safety and standards. It is an excellent example of the work our Trading Standards officers do every day to keep our residents safe – one of our key commitments in our Council Plan.”