Café owner prosecuted over food hygiene and safety offences

13 Mar 2019

Environmental health officers at West Suffolk councils have prosecuted a café owner after he admitted more than 20 food hygiene and health and safety offences.

Richard Bird who owns and manages Street Level in Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds was sentenced at Ipswich Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Mr Bird, 72, from Bury St Edmunds, who had pleaded guilty to 17 food hygiene and four health and safety offences at an earlier hearing, was ordered to pay £1000 in fines and £1730 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing Cllr Susan Glossop, Cabinet Member for Planning and Growth at St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “We have a duty of care to the public and these were serious breaches of food hygiene, and health and safety, which could have resulted in people becoming extremely ill, or injured. Some of these charges related to inadequate food handling training of his staff, poor cleanliness, inadequate pest proofing, food that was past its use by date, as well as use of dangerous electrical appliances which exposed staff and customers to a risk of serious personal injury.

“While we know the café was popular with its customers, such an irresponsible approach to food hygiene can lead to horrible and sometimes fatal food poisoning particularly in the young or elderly such as E coli, and salmonella, as well as the potential for reactions to allergens.

“Hygiene and safety standards are there for a reason and that reason is to protect the health and safety of people that eat from food premises. We have a good track record of working with businesses to resolve issues around food hygiene and safety for the benefit of the business and their customers.

“Sadly, despite many inspections, advice and formal notices from our Environmental Health officers over the years, this case wasn’t one that we were able to resolve with the owner, which is why we took the decision to prosecute.”

The business was re-inspected in late February, and the outcome of this inspection will appear on the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme site after the 21 day appeal period.

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