Owners of a food business persistently ignoring food hygiene laws have been banned from ever managing a food business again following our successful prosecution at Luton Magistrates Court today (14 January).
Meads Bakery Ltd produces bread, rolls and pastry items at its premises at 2 Bolton Road in Luton. These items are distributed to small retailers throughout Luton and neighbouring counties. The company is run and managed by Mr Sunderam Premanand and his wife, Mrs Sathiabama Premanand, who is also the Company Director.
Between February 2012 and January 2013 food safety officers visited the premises 8 times and on each occasion they saw evidence of appalling hygiene conditions. Although officers advised the manager how to improve standards of hygiene, they were ignored.
Mr Premanand previously operated the business as a sole trader and was fined £10,000 in 2011 for similar hygiene offences.
During their visits officers noted:
- thick black mould growing on the walls and ceiling throughout the bakery. The mould was so thick in the staff lavatory it covered the entire wall surface and all of the lavatory fittings. Someone has scrawled the word ‘office’ into the mould on the office walls
- evidence of pests, including swarms of fruit flies, maggots nesting inside bread baskets and mouse droppings around the floors. On their final visit the officers found two dead mice on the floor of the bakery. The owner admitted the pest control company he had employed had caught 68 mice in a 5 week time period. There were several holes in the walls of the bakery where mice could get in
- food debris, grease and raw bread dough was coating the floors, and there were pools of dirty water under the sinks
- spider webs were hanging in thick strands from the ceiling
- paint was flaking from the walls and ceiling of the bakery, directly over preparation tables
- floor damage with food debris collecting in cracked and damaged tiles
- food stored in containers that were damaged, with large cracks visible and large shards of plastic broken off
- plastic coating on the fridge shelves peeling off, revealing rusty metal. Some of the fridge shelves were coated in thick mould
- workers who did not know how to clean or disinfect mopping floors with dirty water.
Magistrates imposed fines totalling £38,000 on the owners of the business along with a banning order on each of the defendants, which effectively stops them from managing a food business again. The defendants were also ordered to pay Council costs of £1908 and £15 victim surcharge.
Cllr Mohammed Ashraf, portfolio holder for public health, said: “The terrible hygiene conditions in this business over a prolonged period of time indicate the owner’s total disregard for hygiene.
He added: “We welcome the Magistrates decision to stop the bakery owners from managing a food business in future. The Council will not tolerate anyone running a food business with conditions which place public health at risk.”
For more information see www.luton.gov.uk/environmentalhealth - food control.