Butcher fined almost Â£9,000 in hygiene rap
A traditional family butcher struggling to compete with the massive supermarket chains let his standards slip and put the public at risk, a court heard.
Matthew Mitchell, 38, was fined £8,933 and ordered to pay £470 court costs after he admitted six food safety offences.
Mitchell, of Harrowside, South Shore, took over his father’s business G and K Mitchell of Lytham Road four years ago.
Blackpool Magistrates heard that an inspection of the premises by environmental health officers revealed a piece of cooked ham being kept in temperatures over three times the recommended level which could prompt the growth of harmful toxins on the meat.
Mitchell also admitted failing to keep the premises clean and in good repair.
He failed to have adequate washing facilities for staff and the ceilings and walls were a hazard.
There were risks of cross contamination and paperwork required by law was not on the premises at the time of the inspection.
Lynda Bennett, prosecuting for Blackpool Council, said the officers found cracks in equipment and food debris on the floors.
There were live wires exposed at a light switch and a bin lid in a sink which should only be used for washing hands. She said: “A piece of cooked ham had been left cooling since 6pm the previous night. It should have been left in a temperature of 8C or below but in fact the temperature was 27.5C.”
“The place has been given a hygiene rating of just one which means improvements are needed. There was a lack of basic cleaning and good hygiene practice.”
Allan Cobain, defending, said: “He accepts he may have let things slip a little but not as badly as portrayed. He is a small family butcher struggling against the big boys.
“The days of his kind of business have long gone in many areas.They are few and far between. He said he should have been inspected before the start of the working day when he says the premises would have been seen in a different light.”