CUSTOMERS of Pritam’s Indian Takeaway have a great debt of gratitude to Swindon Borough Council’s hygiene inspectors.

So, for that matter, does everybody in the borough, because without the inspectors it’s impossible to say what horrors we’d unknowingly be exposed to.

As we reveal today, Pritam’s was forcibly closed, and magistrates have ordered the destruction of food confiscated from the venue.

Judging from what the court heard, it seems the firm managed to tick off just about every cliche of squalor in catering and add some novel twists of its own here and there.

The evidence of rot, mould and vermin, for example, is hardly unknown when inspectors call on a filthy operation, and nor is a lack of evident cross-contamination prevention.

However, one has to give this business a certain credit for horrifying innovations including large fans blowing dust on some of the prepared food.

Such was the crucible whose products were delivered to and consumed at public events and other gatherings far and wide.

Of all the terrible things discovered by the inspectors, not a single one was unpreventable.

There is a very easy way in which food businesses can avoid being shut down, just as there is a very easy way in which they can avoid being given anything less than a decent hygiene rating.

It is simply a matter of keeping surfaces and equipment clean, of storing food items securely and of preparing items separately where necessary.

These techniques are so simple that countless excellent, safe food businesses across the borough employ them successfully each day.

Anybody who is incapable of doing the same, or of acting promptly on sensible expert advice, should not prepare food for a living.