Mr David Hawkins has been sentenced to 160 hours unpaid work after pleading guilty to 24 food safety offences in his sandwich shop in Kirkby after appearing at Nottinghamshire Crown Court on 16th March 2017.
Hawkins, 26, of Windsor Road, Mansfield, had ignored multiple warnings from Ashfield District Council environmental health officers regarding cleanliness, safety and training issues at his establishment, The Bakery, on Portland Street, Kirkby.
The officers inspecting found dirty conditions, including unclean appliances and utensils, and gaps in walls big enough to let in rats or mice.
The temperature of sandwich ingredients could not be controlled due to missing insulation strips at the entrance of the sandwich production room, ingredients containing harmful allergens had not been separated and uncovered meals were found in conditions where they could have been subject to contamination.
There was no adequate food safety management system in place and staff had not received the correct training. A lack of hand basins also meant staff were not able to wash their hands when preparing food.
Environmental health officers had visited Mr Hawkins’ food premises on many occasions between December 2015 and September 2016 and tried to work with him to improve the situation, however a failure to heed advice meant prosecution was unavoidable.
Sentencing Hawkins at Nottingham Crown Court on 16 March 2017, His Honour Judge Burgess imposed a 12-month community order with one requirement of 160 hours unpaid work, to run concurrently on all 24 offences.
His Honour Judge Burgess commented that Mr Hawkins had got out of his depth:
“It was clear that David Hawkins did not have the skills to be a business food operator but it was important to recognise all this was completely beyond him.
“The environmental health officers had given him a list of things to put right and he had failed to do any of them”.
Edd de Coverly, Service Director for Place and Communities, said: “Working in clean and safe conditions for food preparation is vital as a failure to do so could result in serious harm to the public.
“When enforcement is required in cases such as this, it shows that our work in Environmental Health is not just a tick box exercise.
“Our officers work closely with food vendors and distributors across the district to achieve the highest standards but when cases get as bad as this, prosecution is eventually the only option”.