A Powys-based food business operator has been prosecuted after raw meat was found above ready-to-eat food in a refrigerator, leading to the risk of cross-contamination and food poisoning.
Powys County Council’s Environmental Health department prosecuted Mahfuz Raha – a food business operator based in Preem, Newtown in Powys.
At Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court, Raha pleaded guilty to nine food hygiene offences, including failing to keep the food premises and food preparation equipment utensils clean and in good order and repair; failure to ensure that food handling staff maintained an adequate standard of personal hygiene; failing to ensure that food was protected from contamination; failure to ensure that food handling staff were trained; failing to implement a Food Safety Management System; failure to register with the Local Authority; and service of unfit food.
The court heard that environmental health officers carried out a re-visit of the inspection in August 2016, where they found unacceptable standards of cleanliness in the kitchen and food storage areas.
Food preparation equipment – including the food preparation boards and the internal surfaces of the refrigerators – were in a dirty condition.
Food handling standards were also poor, with food-handling staff failing to wash their hands after handling raw foods.
Controls were also not in place to prevent cross-contamination of foods, with food handling staff seen splashing bloody water onto surfaces – and dirty cloths being used to wipe surfaces.
Mouldy garlic was also found in the refrigerators in the kitchen.
Raha also failed to register as a food business operator with the local authority, despite being in control of the business for two years.
Magistrates fined Raha £1,350 for the nine offences and ordered him to pay £500 in costs and a £135 victim surcharge.
After sentencing, Powys County Council’s Strategic Director for Place, Paul Griffiths, said:
“Premises that prepare and serve food to the public have a responsibility to ensure that their premises comply with food hygiene regulations – in this instance, the required standards were not met and the action taken by our food safety officers reflects the severity of the conditions found.
“All food business operators should take notice of the penalties they may face when they do not comply with food hygiene regulations.”
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Food poisoning claims have to be made within three years of illness or diagnosis of illness – children can claim compensation for food poisoning up to the age of 21, including claims involving: