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Home > News > Council secures conviction for food hygiene breaches

Council secures conviction for food hygiene breaches

Posted by Communications on 4 March 2021 | Comments

A company selling baked goods at various Suffolk markets, including Stowmarket, has been ordered to pay nearly £10,000 for food hygiene offences.

McCarthy’s Country Store Ltd, was sentenced for multiple food hygiene offences by Ipswich Magistrates Court yesterday (3 March).

They must now pay a total of £9,723.46 including awarded costs of £1,599.46 to the council and a victim surcharge of £190, for the offences, which date back to 8 August 2019.

Mid Suffolk District Council officers visited the baked goods market stall at Stowmarket, following a complaint received by a member of the public about the sale of a mouldy cheese scone.

On inspection they found inadequate hand washing facilities, pest control and temperature control issues and inadequate allergen management.

Following representations made by Mid Suffolk District Council’s prosecutor David Smithet at court, McCarthy’s Country Store Ltd was found guilty of six charges:

  • Failure to maintain high risk foods at or below 8oC contrary to the Regulation 32 of Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 (£934)
  • Placing unfit food on the market contrary to Article 14 of EC Regulation 178/2002 (£1,400)
  • Failure to ensure food handlers are supervised and instructed and/or trained contrary to Article 4 of EC Regulation 852/2004 (£1,400)
  • Failure to provide adequate hand washing facilities contrary to Article 4 of EC Regulation 852/2004 (£1,400)
  • Failure to protect food from contamination contrary to Article 4 of EC Regulation 852/2004 (£1,400)
  • Failure to implement a food safety management system contrary to Article 5 of EC Regulation 852/2004 (£1,400)

Cllr Jessica Fleming, cabinet member for environment at Mid Suffolk District Council, said:

“Our officers work hard to keep the public safe when purchasing food or eating out – so this is a great result. We take a graduated enforcement approach, share intelligence with authorities across the country, and support our food businesses with advice and guidance, with prosecution being the last resort.

“This conviction shows the importance of food hygiene and sends a clear message that repeated breaches will not be tolerated. This vital work ensures our communities are protected and can make informed decisions when choosing to purchase food or eat out in our district.”​

The prosecution follows Mr McCarthy being interviewed under caution on 4 September 2019, and an earlier hearing where he plead guilty to only one of the offences relating to temperature control.

McCarthy’s Country Store Ltd was also successfully prosecuted by Babergh District Council in September 2015 in relation to the sale of a mouldy bread pudding at Sudbury Market.