A cafe has been fined £5,600 for breaching food hygiene regulations.
Janet Blades representing the business owner, Stone Jetty Ltd, appeared before magistrates charged with six offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
The Stone Jetty Ltd, on Morecambe seafront, pleaded guilty to all the charges, following unannounced routine visits by Lancaster City Council’s environmental health officers. They found 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. Lancaster Magistrates’ Court heard 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 one despite having the opportunity to improve. A rating of anything less than three out of a top rating of five, is considered unsatisfactory.
Coun Andrew Warriner, Lancaster City Council 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 three, and around 90 per cent of our food businesses have a rating of four or five. 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.”
The fine included a victim surcharge of £170 and £2,044.84 costs.