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Staffordshire cafe owner banned by court after food hygiene breaches

A judge has banned a woman from running a food business after hearing her café in a village near Stafford was a health risk.

District Judge Timothy Boswell made the order after Jaqueline Hall, owner of the business on the Airfield Industrial Estate in Hixon, pleaded guilty to several breaches of food hygiene regulations.

He said there had been a ‘poor history of food safety’ at the premises.

After the hearing, Robert Simpson, the Head of Operations at Stafford Borough Council, urged all food businesses to work with the authority to avoid putting the public at risk.

Mr Simpson said: “We want our food businesses to be safe and successful and will help them in any way we can because the last thing we want to do is to be forced to take them to court.

"Fortunately, cases such as this are very rare in Stafford Borough.”

 Ms Hall, 56, of Longton, Stoke On Trent admitted four offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 at the North Staffordshire Justice Centre, last Thursday (November 28).

 The charges related to:

  • Failure to provide an adequate supply of hot and cold water to the wash hand basin in the kitchen. The basin hadn’t been connected up to a water supply or drainage
  • Failure to provide an adequate supply of hot water to the sinks in the kitchen. The hot water supply could only be turned on using a screwdriver
  • Failure to provide adequate drainage facilities. The drainage pipe from the sinks discharged straight on to the ground
  • Failure to maintain permanent food safety management procedures. Some food was unwrapped, unlabelled and out of date, and daily food safety checks had not been carried out

She was fined £1,105 with a £110.50 surcharge and ordered to pay the council legal costs of £1,000.

The company, Airfield Shop / Café Ltd, of which Ms Hall is a sole director, was fined £50 with a £30 surcharge. The offences occurred in September 2018.

The court was told she was also convicted of food hygiene offences in 2017.

Gary Cook, prosecuting for the Borough Council, said the defendant had a poor history of compliance and there was a blatant disregard for health risks.

Judge Boswell issued a Hygiene Prohibition Order preventing Ms Hall from participating in the management of any food business. 

Ms Hall confirmed to the court that her business was no longer trading.

The Borough Council says that it inspects around 1,000 food businesses with nearly two thirds getting the highest rating and 95 per cent having a satisfactory rating of three or higher. 

Mr Simpson continued: “Taking anyone to court will always be a last resort because we are always on hand to give businesses help and advice about food safety and hygiene. 

“I would encourage owners and managers to get in touch and work with us to make sure they are complying with their legal responsibilities that are in place to protect the public.”

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