A tearoom in Lavenham and Chinese takeaway in Sudbury are to pay more than £4k after they were found guilty of multiple food offences at Ipswich Magistrates Court this week.
On Monday 9 December, Ipswich Magistrates Court saw Munnings Tearoom in Lavenham represented by Everyl Madell, plead guilty to two food safety offences.
Offences dated back to an inspection on 24 May 2019 by Babergh District Council at Munnings Tearoom in Lavenham, where officers found mouldy soup, out of date foods, inadequate hand wash facilities and failure to proof the premises against pests.
Everyl Madell was fined £1,300 in addition to an £80 surcharge for placing unsafe food on the market and failing to implement a food safety management system following a routine inspection. With the council awarded costs of £1,500.
David Smithet, prosecuting on behalf of Babergh District Council, advised the Magistrates Court that the council took formal action after there were no improvements and standards remained after a Simple Caution was issued for similar offences in 2016.
On the same day, the magistrates court saw Mandarin 15 Ltd in Sudbury represented by owner Xing Ping Chen and the owner himself, plead guilty to a total of five food hygiene offences.
Following odour complaints, food and safety officers had visited premises on the 19 June 2019, where they found mouse droppings in the food storage area, a filthy kitchen as well as large amounts of food left out at room temperature. Takeaway staff had also not been trained in food safety requirements and the company had failed to put the food safety management system into practice.
Xing Ping Chen was a fined a total of £2,500, with the company Mandarin 15 Ltd represented by owner Xing Ping Chen also fined £500 for the offences. Full council costs of £2,188 were awarded.
David Smithet, prosecuting on behalf of Babergh District Council, told the court that the council took formal action following a Simple Caution for similar offences in 2016. He also added that Mr Chen had since opened a second food premises outside of East Anglia and left his son, who he knew not to be adequately trained, in charge of the Sudbury takeaway.
After hearing the sentencing guidelines from Mr Smithet, the court agreed that in both cases all the offences demonstrated high culpability and Category 2 harm.
Cassandra Clements, Assistant Director for Environment and Commercial Partnerships and Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, said:
“Our officers work hard to keep the public safe when eating out – so this is a great result. We take a graduated enforcement approach, supporting our food businesses with advice and guidance, with prosecution being the last resort.
“This shows the importance of food hygiene ratings in ensuring our community can make an informed decision when eating out in the district.”