Page last updated at 11:24 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Exploding Birmingham curry ovens crackdown

A poorly maintained tandoor
A build up of gas in a tandoor oven turns it into a 'cannon'

Environmental health bosses have launched a "curry crackdown" following a spate of injuries from exploding tandoori ovens.

Tandoor ovens are used to cook meat dishes, such as chicken tikka, as well as breads like nan.

But Birmingham City Council officers found many had not been maintained or installed properly.

Only a small percentage had working ignitions and employees "routinely" lit ovens with burning serviettes.

An unannounced check of 27 restaurants discovered only two used a qualified engineer to check their oven.

Some of the worst ovens appeared to be home-made.

One, officers found, had been installed by the chef and never maintained.

The oven effectively becomes like a cannon
Cllr Neil Eustace

In November 2008, an employee suffered serious burns to his to his hands, face and eyes after a build-up of flammable gas in an oven led to an explosion.

The owners, Sukdhev's Catering Services Ltd, pleaded guilty at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on 22 January to breaching safety regulations, and was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,500.

Chair of the Public Protection Committee, Councillor Neil Eustace, said: "The results of our inspection were shocking.

"The cylindrical design of the tandoor with an ignition source at the bottom, means that when gas builds up inside and an employee leans in to light it, the oven effectively becomes like a cannon."



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Birmingham Evening Mail Handsworth restaurant fined over curry oven explosion - 16 hrs ago
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Telegraph Curry houses blighted by exploding tandoors - 64 hrs ago



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