Cafe receives hefty fine for breaching food hygiene regulations

A Morecambe based cafe business has been fined £5,600 including a victim surcharge of £170 and £2,044.84 costs after pleading guilty at Lancaster Magistrates Court to breaching food hygiene regulations.

Janet Blades representing the business owner, Stone Jetty Ltd, appeared before magistrates on Monday (December 3) charged with six offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

The Stone Jetty Ltd pleaded guilty to all the charges, following unannounced routine visits by Lancaster City Council’s environmental health officers.

They found that the premises and equipment were generally dirty, with examples of poor hygiene, and the lack of an appropriate food safety management system.

In addition, the staff working at the premises had not been given appropriate training in food safety and hygiene and at the time of the inspection, the staff were uncooperative and obstructive.

The court heard that the business has recently made improvements to the way in which it operates and has invested in new equipment.

Prior to prosecution the business had failed to receive a food hygiene rating of above 1 despite having the opportunity to improve.  A rating of anything less than 3 out of a top rating of 5, is considered unsatisfactory.

Coun Andrew Warriner, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and housing, said: "All food businesses have a fundamental duty to their customers to operate their businesses in a responsible way to ensure that the food they provide is prepared in hygienic conditions and properly stored.

"The vast majority of our food businesses achieve a food hygiene rating of at least 3, and around 90% of our food businesses have a rating of 4 or 5. Where this is not the case and businesses are not able to demonstrate that they are taking steps to improve their practices, the city council will not hesitate to take action.

"I urge anyone thinking of eating out or buying a take away to check out the food hygiene rating of the business. You can find out the rating of any food business by visiting http://ratings.food.gov.uk."

Last updated: 04 December 2018