A PENARTH bakery has been fined more than £10,000 after committing 36 hygiene offences and its owner banned from managing a food business for 10 years.
Gareth Spray, 45, of Penarth Bakery Ltd, pleaded guilty at Cardiff Magistrates' Court on Thursday (March 2) to 28 charges as the food business operator in respect of food hygiene and a further eight offences for failing to comply with hygiene improvement notices in a case brought by the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
He also pleaded guilty to two offences for placing food on the market which was unfit for human consumption.
The same offences were admitted by the company, Penarth Bakery Limited, with an additional offence of failing to display the sticker illustrating their zero food hygiene rating
Officers from Shared Regulatory Services, the body responsible for monitoring food safety standards in the Vale, found serious breaches of hygiene regulations, including the presence of rodents, when they visited Modern Bakery, trading as Penarth Bakery Limited, in Plassey Street.
A number of visits were made to the business which was acting as a food manufacturer supplying other outlets as well as its own retail shop.
The breaches of food hygiene regulations found were so serious that officers had to intervene in the interests of public health, with a total of 11 improvement notices being served.
The breaches identified at the premises included poor personal hygiene, failure to protect food from contamination, filthy premises that were in a poor condition, storing high-risk food out of temperature control, failure to ensure that adequate procedures were in place to control pests, placing unfit food on the market, a failure to implement and maintain written food safety procedures at the business, demonstrating a lack of control and care and a failure to comply with eight hygiene improvement notices.
In sentencing, district judge Bodfan Jenkins described Spray and his company as having a "flagrant disregard for the law" and insisted there had been an "appalling catalogue of behaviour by all involved as to the state of the premises and equipment, enough to turn one’s stomach."
He described the efforts that had been made to rectify problems as being "too little, too late."
Spray was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, for the two more serious offences of placing food on the market which was unfit for human consumption.
He was ordered to undergo an unpaid work requirement of 200 hours and a rehabilitation activity requirement of up to 15 days.
For the other 36 offences, he was fined £200, giving a total of £7200.
He was also ordered to pay costs of £1400 and a victim surcharge of £115.
Spray was banned from participating in the management of any food business for 10 years.
In addition, Penarth Bakery Limited was fined £1300 for each of the two more serious offences and £200 for each of the remaining offences making a total fine of £10,000.
The company was also ordered to pay costs of £1400 and a victim surcharge of £200.
Cllr Gwyn John, cabinet member for visible, leisure and regulatory services, said: "Fortunately, cases such as this are rare across the region, and most food businesses work hard to ensure that the highest possible standards of food hygiene are maintained.
"Nevertheless, the outcome of this court case sends a clear message that firm action will be taken wherever necessary to safeguard the public."