A CHEF running an Indian takeaway has been back in court for a string of food hygiene offences after inspectors discovered an empty bottle in the kitchen covered in what they believed to be fecal matter.

Mahbub Chowdhury, who single-handedly ran Yeahya Flavour of Asia out of the kitchen he rented at Nine Elms Pub in Old Shaw Lane, appeared at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to ten allegations of breaching food and hygiene regulations. He will be sentenced at Swindon Crown Court.

It comes almost a year after the 46-year-old of Plymouth Street was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £2,500, later reduced to £500, for ten similar offences relating to lack of food hygiene.

However, this week the court heard despite being handed the fines and receiving ongoing advice from environmental health inspectors, he continued to show disregard for food safety and hygiene.

Prosecuting Rosie Heath, from Swindon Borough Council, told the court that environmental health officers Carolyn Clinton and Caroline Lock visited his business on May 5 last year and found “very poor standards of hygiene.”

She said: “In the kitchen under the double sinks Mrs Clinton found an empty plastic milk bottle which was extremely dirty and was covered with brown fingerprints.

“When asked, Mr Chowdhury explained he filled the bottle with water from the kitchen taps and used it to clean his bottom after visiting the toilet. He did not use toilet paper for cultural reasons.

“Mrs Clinton concluded the brown finger prints was fecal matter. After some persuasion he took it out the kitchen after refusing to get rid of it.

“This was at a time Mr Chowdhury had already been summoned to appear in court in May in relation to ten allegations of breach of food safety and hygiene regulations.”

In an interview under caution Chowdhury claimed the bottle was used to mix oven cleaning chemicals and said he never brought it into the kitchen.

During the inspection in May and further ones in July and September, Mrs Clinton and Mrs Lock witnessed cross contamination and filthy working conditions, as well as lack of documentation. They also observed Chowdhury handling defrosted prawns with his bare hands, before touching other equipment and fruit.

Defending Mark Glendenning said his client no longer operates the business. He also said the milk bottle was never assessed and the marks could have been spices.

He added: “Mr Chowdhury will dispute it was fecal matter. The prosecution can’t prove otherwise.

“He effectively rented the kitchen and had no control over the equipment and facilities available.

“He worked on his own and found it stressful. He accepts each and every one of the information relayed had potential risk to customers.

“He does have aspirations to work in the industry again but will work more closely with the council and is mindful of the requirements.

“He can’t run a business on his own, that is evidently clear and clear to Mr Chowdhury.”

Chairman of the bench Geoffrey Earl said: “Mr Chowdhury these offences were all committed when you were aware other offences were to be heard.

“Two of these were committed after your conviction for other offences in May. We believe these matters combined mean that the sentencing options available to us are insufficient.

“We are therefore committing you to the crown court in Swindon that will be at a date to be notified to you. In the meantime we release you on unconditional bail.”