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Tue 14 Jul 2009 08:41 AM

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Abu Dhabi chef fined $27,000 for out of date yoghurt

Lawyers for the Emirates Palace Hotel chef said yoghurt was one day past expiry.

A head chef at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi has been fined AED92,000 ($27,000) for storing an out-of-date tub of yoghurt in a kitchen fridge.

Inspectors from Abu Dhabi Municipality found the yoghurt, which the British chef’s lawyers said was one day past its expiry date, during a routine visit about a month ago, according to the National.

The paper said the chef, identified only as PH, has since appealed the verdict, heard on Monday at the Criminal Court of Appeal. It is the second time the defendant has made an appeal.

He was fined AED70,000 for not educating his staff on the emirate’s food expiration laws and AED20,000 for storing expired food. He had to pay a further AED2,000 in municipality fees.

PH told the court: “I am only an employee of the hotel. I should not be the one charged with this. I signed the documents, but I did not understand that I would be the one charged. I am only an employee.”

The judge said the appeal verdict would be given on July 22.

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Gordon R 10 years ago

He's a disgrace to chefs everywhere and should hang his head in shame. If he needs someone to come in there and sort him out I'm always available. Just teaching him the basics - how to read a date on a plastic tub - would be a good start.

Raul 10 years ago

On one can eat yoghourt days past expiry with no adverse effects and it is a pretty stiff fine for this particular violation. If only the country would focus on more important situations to go after like having to walk through a busy construction zone to work because the site has taken up the entire area and the city has not provided a pedestrian walkway or maybe the workers that are left sitting out in the heat during their mandatory "break" just because they arent technically working. On the other hand, the chef should keep close eyes on his inventory. Maybe send in Gordon Ramsay.

nadinem 10 years ago

ok that is a little over the top! I eat yogurt few days past expiry date I mean its great there are inspections like this but its unfair to charge a chef that much money! I think by making it clear to all restaurants the fines involved in keeping expired products would be a good start. And outlining healthy sanitary day to day routines that each restaurant must adhere by...

paul 10 years ago

People complain about the appalling carnage on the roads of the UAE, but it is great to see the authorities are focusing on the real unseen menace - recently expired dairy products. Road deaths just get all the attention because we all see decapitated bodies and burning wrecks several times a month. Few of us are aware of the bigger danger posed by slightly old fruit corners which if left a few days longer might cause a nasty tummy ache.

Sam 10 years ago

Surely the business should be fined in case of a breach and the employee disciplined internally. Some bit of the story seems to be missing.

Punky Brewster 10 years ago

Are we going anyplace with this? I'm sure the management will cover the fine, considering the fact that the guy might as well go back home or change his country of residence, if these insane laws are enacted. He could've forgotten abt it, or, he may have been lax in getting rid of it that day, or the next. Common! Give the guy a break. There are FAR MORE serious issues to look into, like the TINTED Car Windows, the SPEEDING Local motorists, or Domestic Abuse, Spousal Abuse, Developers not paying salaries, etc... but THIS? Ridiculous. I'm sure I would LOVE to see Gordon react to HIM being fined...

Maverick 10 years ago

I believe that is an exagerrated reaction from the government. Besides I know for a fact that even an Executive Chef as a head of the department is not in the kitchen 24/7. And somehow even he trains the staff there are some really are stubborn and careless. What I know if the employee didn not follow regulations of the hotel he can be fired for that but not charged for the mistake?! And how come the chef is attending the court and no representative from the hotel? Emirates Palace should be the one charged as they hired unqualified chef (if indeed he is).

mark pritchard 10 years ago

Just imagine what the fine would have been if they found a carton of sour cream.

Muhammad 10 years ago

Its not science based, the regualtion needs to be reviewed. Ofcurse it shouldnt happen but the fine is extremely high. It shouldnt be imposed on the employee. Finally, shelf life (expiry date) is a parameter that reflects Quality attribute, it has nothing to do with Food Safety......

hombil 10 years ago

There is a big hue and cry about the fine imposed on the head chef of a 5* hotel after yoghurt with expired shelf-life was found in the kitchen. The government has been critcised for imposing "unreasonable" penalty! Today smaller restaurants are fined or closed down for similar offence, so what's the big deal in this case? The same people criticising the government action, if had fallen ill after eating at the hotel restaurant would have raised similar hue and cry to ensure that the hotel was penalised by the government for not meeting the set standards of health. The government is absolutely correct in imposing the penalty for finding an expired "dairy" product in the kitchen of this hotel. However, I feel that rather than the chef, the hotel should have been fined/penalised and the hotel management could have taken whatever corrective action, as per the company policy.