Meals-on-wheels for the elderly company boss fined for hygiene breaches
A Lincolnshire company which ran a meals-on-wheels service to the elderly has been fined by a court for breaching health and hygiene regulations.
Lincolnshire Kitchen director David Mather and his company were each fined £1,400 by Lincoln Magistrates today after he admitted 12 charges.
The court heard that they followed a series of inspections going back to 2008 where a catalogue of breaches of food hygiene laws were recorded.
It was alleged that kitchen cleaning was of a poor standard, high risk foods were stored at room temperature – and the risk of cross-contamination between raw and cooked foods was high.
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Disinfectant spray bottles were dirty and the raw meat preparation table was being used to store clean utensils and food containers.
Since 2008, conditions in the premises were noted as being poor and the business had been issued with two health and safety warning notices.
The court was told that the 63-year-old from Sleaford Road in Nocton Heath had run the business with his wife Hazel since 2002.
Three years ago, the defendant was diagnosed with bowel cancer.
At the time of the final inspection, the company only had three employees from a normal complement of six.
And on July 17 an independent inspection revealed that cleanliness had improved and cross-contamination between raw and cooked food was no longer an issue.
It reported that staff were being trained in food hygiene and health and safety online and there were clear records of training and cleaning logs.
Magistrates told Mather: “We took into consideration your ill health, full co-operation at every step of the investigation, guilty pleas and current financial difficulties.
“The fact that you have actively tried to make amends for the health and safety notices by implementing the changes that were required, are trying to sell both the business and the premises and the early guilty pleas have all been taken into consideration.
“The fact remains that the business put elderly people at risk through the meals-on-wheels Service by the breaches in health and safety which were found. However, no-one was reportedly injured or suffered illness.”
Mather was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs and £30 for each victim surcharge.