Curry house used home-made BLOW TORCHES to cook chapatis

February 5, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Safety inspectors who launched a crackdown on dangerous curry houses were stunned when they found home-made blow torches being used to cook chapatis.

Officials targeted Indian restaurants after being tipped-off that some kitchens were using illegal equipment to prepare flatbreads.

They issued fixed penalty fines to dozens of outlets which were using crude flame-throwers to toast the surface of chapatis.

Health and Safety Officer Tricia McLeish holds a home-made industrial blow-torch found being used to cook chapatis at a curry houses in Glasgow

Health and Safety Officer Tricia McLeish holds a home-made industrial blow-torch found being used to cook chapatis at a curry houses in Glasgow

Brian Devlin, executive director of land and environmental services for Glasgow City Council, said: “These devices are almost always home-made, with a rubber hose attached to a piece of copper tubing with a flattened end.

“A simple butterfly valve is often the only means of controlling the gas flow and the device is manually lit, for example, by a taper.

“It is then used in a blow-torch fashion to flame the surface of the chapati.”

Inspectors visited 530 restaurants, takeaways and hotels in Glasgow between June and December last year.

They served 54 businesses, who failed to safely maintain gas equipment, with improvement notices and issued prohibition notices to 36 other eateries for using dangerous equipment.

All of the offending restaurants were using chapati flamers to grill the top of the Indian bread.

One business received three prohibition notices and an improvement notice.

Mr Devlin said: “It had decided to use liquefied petroleum gas or propane to fuel the cooking equipment in the restaurant.

“This is becoming more common as businesses look for ways to cut costs and some gas-fired catering equipment can be dual-fuelled.

“If such equipment is not designed for dual use, the higher flame temperature of propane can damage burner heads, which leads to failure of equipment with potentially catastrophic effect.

“In addition, this business had placed two 46kg propane cylinders in the back court area and had fed the supply hoses through an open window.

“These cylinders were unsecured against movement or tampering by unauthorised persons, including children.”

Mr Devlin added: “Many of the problems identified were potentially dangerous and this resulted in 10 per cent of the premises inspected being issued with an improvement notice and seven per cent being issued with a prohibition notice.”

Frank McAveety, chairman of the council’s sustainability and environmental policy development committee, said: “The risks of using gas improperly are generally well known and safety measures are well implemented.

“The intervention visits has been a worthwhile exercise in that while serious breaches of legislation were identified, the majority of premises did comply with legislation.”

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