York market fishmonger to pay £1,672 for food hygiene failings

A fishmonger who repeatedly failed to meet safe food standards has been ordered to pay a total £1,672 for four food hygiene offences.

Trevor Douglas (aged 62 of St Peters Court, Whitby) failed to improve hygiene standards at his stall at Shambles market for a five-year period between 2013-2017 and, at its latest inspection on 27 January 2017, the business was given a zero rating with urgent improvement required.

On Tuesday 2 January 2018, Mr Douglas pleaded guilty to four food safety offences. He was fined £1,066, ordered to pay a court surcharge of £106 and prosecution costs of £500, giving a total cost of £1,672.

At the inspection, multiple shortcomings were found including poor cleanliness and repair, lack of hot water, cross contamination risks and inadequate management documentation.

A report was sent to Mr Douglas ahead of three official notices to improve hygiene. He was also advised in writing about exactly what improvements were needed and how they could be made.

An environmental health officer from City of York Council revisited the business on 13 March 2017 and found that while the hygiene standards had largely been complied with, there were a number of unresolved issues including dirty equipment and cross-contamination risks from dressed crab continuing to be displayed among wet fish.

Another visit on 26 May 2017 proved that these matters still hadn’t been resolved, but a visit on 30 June 2017 showed that while there was an improvement in standards of cleanliness, cross-contamination risks remained.

In mitigation, Mr Douglas said that the business had suffered after his wife had health complications which required her to have a leg amputated. Also, he had been given the business and an old van by his previous employer in lieu of redundancy payment which the company couldn’t afford to pay.

Cllr Andrew Waller, interim deputy leader and executive member for environment, said: “York relies on an excellent reputation for the quality of food sold in the city, and so we take breaches of the usual high standards very seriously.

“Consumers need to be confident that the food they buy is safe, and that the people running those businesses are upholding their responsibilities. The vast majority of local businesses follow safe and proper practices, and we work with them to try to overcome any issues, but in the few cases where standards remain poor we take action, as this prosecution proves.”

Anyone wanting expert advice on food hygiene issues can visit www.york.gov.uk or call us on (01904) 551525 for help and information.

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