Rust and grime behind the counter and a filthy till – two of the hygiene fails that were found at a York food business.
Fishmonger Trevor Douglas repeatedly failed to meet safe food standards and has paid the price.
He has been ordered to pay a total £1,672 for four food hygiene offences committed at his Whitby Seafish stall – 2 Newgate – on Shambles Market.
Mr Douglas, 62, of St Peters Court, Whitby, failed to improve hygiene standards at his stall at Shambles market for a five-year period between 2013-2017.
At its last inspection on January 27 2017, the business was given a zero rating with urgent improvement required.
At the inspection, multiple shortcomings were found including poor cleanliness and repair, lack of hot water, cross contamination risks and inadequate management documentation.
A report was sent to Mr Douglas ahead of three official notices to improve hygiene. He was also advised in writing about exactly what improvements were needed and how they could be made.
A City of York Council environmental health officer revisited the business on March 13.
While the hygiene standards had largely been complied with, there were a number of unresolved issues including dirty equipment and cross-contamination risks from dressed crab continuing to be displayed among wet fish.
These problems weren’t resolved by the time of another visit on May 26. A month later inspectors found an improvement in standards of cleanliness, but cross-contamination risks remained.
In mitigation, Mr Douglas said that the business had suffered after his wife had health complications which required her to have a leg amputated.
Also, he had been given the business and an old van by his previous employer in lieu of redundancy payment which the company couldn’t afford to pay.
Mr Douglas pleaded guilty to four food safety offences at York Magistrates Court. He was fined £1,066, ordered to pay a court surcharge of £106 and prosecution costs of £500, giving a total cost of £1,672.
Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for environment, said: “York relies on an excellent reputation for the quality of food sold in the city, and so we take breaches of the usual high standards very seriously.
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“Consumers need to be confident that the food they buy is safe, and that the people running those businesses are upholding their responsibilities.
“The vast majority of local businesses follow safe and proper practices, and we work with them to try to overcome any issues, but in the few cases where standards remain poor we take action, as this prosecution proves.”