Restaurant chain Pizza Hut has been fined £5,000 after environmental health officers found grease, dirt and debris in one of its kitchens in Leeds.
Pizza Hut said it relied on managers to implement hygiene policies
Leeds magistrates heard the routine inspection in 2004 was the fifth to have found cleanliness problems at the premises in Briggate since March 1999.
Pizza Hut Ltd was ordered to pay £8,300 costs after earlier admitting two breaches of the 1990 Food Safety Act.
It said it was an isolated incident and the kitchen had since been refurbished.
Long standing problems
Prosecuting, Derek Hallam told the court four previous inspections had found problems with cleanliness in the city centre kitchen but no prosecutions had been made.
At one stage a possible problem with fruit flies was identified by a pest control inspector, the court heard.
Company documentation also showed internal audits by the firm had revealed long standing problems, Mr Hallam said.
Defending Pizza Hut, Simon Antrobus said the firm, which has 526 outlets in the UK, relied on its store and area managers to ensure company hygiene policies were implemented.
'History of concern'
"There were clearly problems with management at a local level and this has been cleared up," he said.
The court heard how all members of staff at the Briggate restaurant had been replaced and magistrates were shown photographs of the refurbished kitchen area.
Ordering the firm to pay a total of £13,300, chairman of the bench John McGivern said they accepted that no members of the public had been harmed.
But he expressed concern over the company's lack of action during a "history of concern" at the Briggate outlet.