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Mouldy food sparks bakery prosecution

Published: Tuesday, 1 October, 2019

Mouldy food found in a bakery by Stroud District Council food safety inspectors during a routine check-up has landed its owners with a large bill for fines and costs.

Woodchester manufacturing bakery J.Hall & Sons (Bakers) Ltd which has retail outlets in Stroud, Nailsworth, Tetbury, Cirencester and Swindon must pay £6,400 in fines and costs after admitting breaching food safety management legislation in court.

Inspectors carried out the visit to Hall’s Quality Bakers in Woodchester in January 2019, having previously served it with a Hygiene Improvement Notice in February 2018.

When they visited in January 2019 and opened the walk-in fridge they discovered extensive mould growth on numerous items of food, one of which was almost three months out of date. Items with mould on them included cartons of cream, tins of fruit, egg yolk and a tub labelled sourdough starter.

At Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on 23rd September 2019, Mr Timothy Hall, on behalf of J.Hall & Sons (Bakers) Ltd pleaded guilty to an offence of failing to properly implement the company’s food safety management system at the time of the Council’s inspection. He was fined a total of £3,000, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £170 and to pay Stroud District Council’s full costs of £3,233.25.

After the hearing, Jon Beckett, Head of Health and Wellbeing at Stroud District Council said it will work with food businesses to ensure the highest standards, but will take legal action if necessary to protect the public.

“Food inspectors always act quickly to ensure that poor standards of food hygiene are dealt with and most businesses respond well,” he said. “However, it is occasionally necessary to take legal action to deal with the worst cases and appropriate measures were taken in this case to ensure future compliance.”

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