It’s a story which went viral as a food store, renowned for attracting customers from near and far afield was heavily fined under hygiene laws as evidence of mouse activity throughout the premises and gnawed food packaging was found, in the store room, after an inspection by Birmingham City Council officers. The store, on Dudley Road, in Winson Green, was shown to have potential pest entry points in the toilet area and evidence of a fly infestation. The toilet area was dirty and food was stored there.

Mr. Khan’s Authentic Jamaican Food Store, which started as a very small shop is noted for attracting a very large number of customers from the Caribbean community and it’s sad that it happened as support there has always been massive with many saying they are nice people.

It was at the point of its expansion that we, The Phoenix Newspaper, approached the owner, Mr. Pinnu Khan, to offer him the opportunity to thank his customers for their part in its growth. His reply, however, was gross and misguided as an angry Mr. Khan, stern in his reply, said; “I don’t need to thank them – they should thank me, as they need me - I don’t need them.”

The store gets people from all over and for him to show such distain when hygiene rules is for everyone – always. It’s just sad that he should treat customers this way.

This heartless experience highlights the fact that it’s time that people realize they deserve better, especially when buying stuff that’s far more expensive than home-grown – a practice that is expanding by the day.

That said this sad, unforgettable experience isn’t the norm. Saleh & Sons, for example, is a very popular food outlet, not too far from Mr. Khan’s Authentic Jamaican Food Store, which also attracts a large percentage of the Africa/Caribbean community, has, is and always will, shown great gratitude for their long-standing custom that generations of families have provided them over the decades.

They regularly say they owe a great deal to their customers; “Without our African/Caribbean, where will we be?”

Mr. Pinnu pleaded guilty to five offences relating to the condition of his Authentic Jamaican Food Store under the legislation – ‘Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013’ and £4,000 x offence 1 with costs incurring £1,014 (£1,014 requested). There was no separate penalty on remaining offences.