Summary of Judge's Decision Alberta Health Services - CALGARY ZONE

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					                       Summary of Judge’s Decision
                 Alberta Health Services – CALGARY ZONE
                               Crete Souvlaki

DATE:               December 30, 2009

DOCKET NO:          0905 69682

ACCUSEDS:           980941 Alberta Ltd.
                    ZIA, Nasreen
                    ZIA, Naheed

JUDGE:              B.A. Millar

PENALTY:            Company       $ 3,680
                    Nasreen       $ 8,280
                    Naheed        $ 8,280
                    Total         $20,240

TYPE OF CASE:       FOOD VIOLATION – This matter proceeded by way of guilty
                    pleas to several charges under the Public Health Act and
                    Food Regulation.     The accused were represented by
                    counsel and there was a joint submission regarding penalty.


BACKGROUND FACTS

   This situation dealt with a Food Establishment located at 2623 – 17th Avenue
    S.W., Calgary, Alberta (the “Premises”) operating under the name Crete
    Souvlaki.

   980941 Alberta Ltd. (the “Company”) applied for and received a Food
    Handling Permit regarding the Premises.

   Nasreen Zia and Naheed Zia are the Directors of the Company and both are
    50% Shareholders of the Company.

   There were 19 inspections conducted between April 8, 2003 and July 28,
    2009 which indicated numerous breaches of the Act, Food Regulation and
    Nuisance and General Sanitation Regulation. In many of the inspections,
    there were 10 or more outstanding violations.

   The accused were told back on January 30, 2004 that the food handlers in
    the Premises would benefit from a safe food handling course.
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   A complaint was received on June 6, 2005 about mouse droppings noted in a
    take out container and it then being emptied out and reused. The follow up
    inspection found 11 outstanding violations.

   Even at times when the accused were told the Inspector would be coming
    numerous violations were found during the inspection.

   On January 9, 2008 there was an Administrative Hearing where the long
    history of violations was discussed and the accused were given one last
    chance before proceeding to charges.

   On June 3, 2008 an inspection was done regarding a complaint about a
    customer with a confirmed case of salmonella. Eighteen violations were
    found.

   A follow up inspection on March 3, 2009 indicated 21 violations. A verbal
    Closure Order was issued to the staff. The accused then attended and
    insisted that the restaurant was very clean (photographs had been taken of
    the disgusting conditions). Mrs. Zia sat on the chair next to the Inspector and
    poked her in the arm several times. The Inspector told her quite firmly “Do
    not touch me”. Mr. Zia was standing opposite the Inspector and stated that
    he was forced to take his wife from her hospital bed and that if anything
    happened to his wife the same would happen to the Inspector. The Inspector
    asked them to leave her alone so she could finish writing her report and post
    the closure. Mr. Zia yelled that this was his restaurant and the Inspector
    could not tell him what to do. He walked around the table towards the
    Inspector. She pulled out her cell phone and said “do I need to call the
    Police”. Mr. Zia grabbed for the phone and the Inspector ran outside, called
    the Police and waited in her car until she could return to the restaurant 15
    minutes later with a Police escort, to get her belongings and to complete her
    report and post the closure.

   The accused hired people with food safe training to work at the Premises and
    a follow up inspection on March 11, 2009 indicated that enough work had
    been done to rescind the Closure Order.


JUDGE’S COMMENTS:

   After hearing the above background facts, relevant case law and comments
    from the Crown regarding the joint submission as well as comments from
    defence counsel, the Judge stated that the penalty proposal was reasonable
    and would be imposed.
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   He said that the penalty was certainly within the range and that the case law
    regarding Public Health Act matters was clear that the penalty must be
    significant.
   He gave the company until February 15, 2010 to pay its penalty failing which
    there would be enforcement. He gave the individuals until June 30, 2010
    failing which a Warrant would be issued for their arrest and they would each
    have to serve 109 days of jail time.


ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES:                CALGARY ZONE

HEALTH INSPECTORS INVOLVED:             MARLENE WELCH
                                        SALIMA KASSAM
                                        MUNIRA PEERMOHAMED
                                        AL KETTLER

PREPARED BY LEGAL COUNSEL:              ROBERT T. O’NEILL
                                        Ogilvie LLP
                                        Phone: (780) 429-6224
                                        Email: roneill@ogilvielaw.com