Six-year-old finds blade in chicken baguette from Tallaght chipper
THE owner of a fast-food takeaway has been fined €250 after a six-year-old girl found a metal blade when she bit into a chicken baguette.
Dublin District Court heard it was reported by the girl's mother to the Food Safety Authority and the prosecution was then brought by the Health Service Executive.
Valdet Talla, the owner of the Roma Springfield takeaway in Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded guilty to breaking food safety regulations.
Judge John O'Neill heard that on December 9th last year a chicken baguette was bought for the child at the takeaway. Prosecution solicitor Sean O'Donnell told the court the girl pulled out a metal blade while she was eating the roll.
An investigation established it was part of the blade of an implement used for scrapping grease. The remaining piece had been put in a bin by an employee.
The defence asked the court to note that Mr Talla and his staff were co-operative and the takeaway owner acknowledged the food came from his premises. However, he was at a loss as to how the piece of the scraper ended up in the food.
The chicken had been deep-fried and the baguette was cooked in an oven, in different food preparation areas.
The court heard Mr Talla, of Liffey Valley Park, Lucan, in Dublin was a hard-working man who had come to Ireland from Kosovo as a political refugee.
He began working in takeaways and then moved on to running his own, Judge O'Neill was told.
He has also taken steps, including staff retraining, to ensure there would be no recurrence, the court was also told.
The maximum fine was €5,000 and, or six-months' imprisonment.
Judge O'Neill noted Talla's guilty plea, that he is contributing to society and there have been no complaints in the past. He had no prior convictions and was fully co-operative and “expressed great surprise and mystery as to how this happened”.
However, the public were entitled to go to food outlets certain that “everything is A-okay”, Judge O'Neill said.
He said it was a hiccup and unfortunate for Mr Talla who is running a good business but the court had to mark its disapproval. He recorded a conviction, imposed the €250 fine and also ordered him to pay prosecution costs which were not disclosed.