The owner of a convenience store has been banned from managing a food business after EHOs found food contaminated with sheep’s blood and a Pharaoh ant infestation in his shop.
EHOs from Chiltern District Council investigated the general store named Mokarram Bros, Berkhampstead Rd in the Buckinghamshire village of Chesham which also sold ready-to-eat foods and included a Halal butcher.
Investigating officers found filthy conditions along with flies on a butchering knife and ready-to-eat foods contaminated with sheep’s blood. An infestation of Pharaoh ants was found throughout the premises.
Pharaoh ants carry a high risk of disease transmission because of their need for water attracting them to drains and food waste areas.
Despite EHOs repeatedly returning to the shop over a four-month period owner Mohammad Mokarram failed to make the required improvements.
Appearing at Wycombe magistrates court on 26 July Mr Mokaram pleaded guilty to 13 food hygiene offences. He was fined £4,095 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs as well as facing a ban from running a food shop again. Sentencing, the magistrates said the fine reflected the fact that the owner had been in business for some time, the large number of offences, the fact that environmental health officers were required to be active at the premises for several months, with minimal effort to make improvements at the shop, and that the shop served the wider community.
‘We work hard with our businesses to help them comply with the law,’ said Cllr Liz Walsh, Chiltern District Council’s cabinet member for healthy communities. ‘However, when businesses blatantly disregard food hygiene and fail to implement legal requirements highlighted by our environmental health team, we will always ensure that our more intensive regulation will be directed at those food businesses that pose the greatest risk, and we will not hesitate to prosecute those with persistent non-compliance.’
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