A RAMSEY restaurant closed its doors after staff were seen walking through raw sewage to the kitchen.

The Bengal Restaurant, in High Street, was visited by environmental health protection officer Belinda Betham on April 19 after Huntingdonshire District Council received a complaint that the restaurant was still open while drains out the back of the premises were blocked and discharging.

Mrs Betham saw staff and delivery drivers walk through the sewage to get to the kitchen. She also found poor standards of cleaning and disinfection, cross contamination risks, no documented food safety management system and unsupervised food handlers with no food hygiene training.

The inspector also discovered "high risk" food products stored at ambient temperature and said the kitchen was too small and there was a fridge in the rear yard, with foods and containers touching the floor.

The restaurant was shut after the inspection for cleaning and disinfecting to take place.

At Huntingdon Magistrates' Court on July 9, Fazir Khan and Noor Ali, who jointly run the Bengal, admitted seven food hygiene offences.

In mitigation Khan and Ali's lawyer said building works were starting in August to improve and extend the restaurant.

The pair were fined £1,750 each and ordered to pay £1,200 costs and £25 victim surcharge.

Councillor Robin Howe, executive councillor for healthy and active communities, said: "We always try to work alongside food businesses and offer advice and support to ensure high standards are maintained in food safety; prosecutions are rare.

"In this case there were clearly some very serious issues, and public health and safety must come first."