The owner of a Greek restaurant in central London has been fined £24,000 after hygiene inspectors came across a "foul smell" in his kitchen.
Westminster City Council's food team also found blood dripping from raw meat onto to food below in the cold storeroom of Zorba's restaurant, in Leinster Terrace, W2.
Westminster Magistrates Court was told inspectors found rotting fruit and vegetables when they visited the restaurant on 19 July last year. There was also a stagnant pool of liquid on the floor of the cold store.
Pavlos Pittas and his company La Pamelco pleaded guilty to having unfit food, failing to keep the premises clean, failing to protect food from contamination and failing to have effective control measures to protect food safety.
Pittas was fined £3,000 for each offence and his company also £3,000, making a total of £24,000. He was also ordered to pay £2,217.56 costs to Westminster City Council.
Westminster's Food Team Leader, Philip Vine, said: "When we entered the restaurant's cold store we were hit by a foul smell of rotting food.
"We found a kitchen where food was being stored in an environment that posed a serious risk to human health.
“Pittas ignored previous advice and has a previous conviction relating to offences in 2003 and 2004 so he has absolutely no excuse for letting his kitchen get into the state it was in."
By Daniel Thomas
E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.