A ROADSIDE cafe owner has been ordered to pay almost £3,000 in fines and costs after admitting 19 breaches of food hygiene regulations and three failures to comply with Hygiene Improvement Not- ices.
Dirty conditions and poor practices were found by Environmental Health Inspectors when they visited the Cheerio Cafe on the A17 at North Rauceby in March, and on subsequent occasions – culminating in a prosecution heard in the Lincoln Magistrates Court last week.
North Kesteven District Council brought the prosecution against business operator Mrs Lina De Sousa as part of its ongoing clampdown on businesses that fail to reach acceptable standards of food hygiene.
Because of an early guilty plea and her limited ability to pay, the penalties were reduced from £3,500 to £2,500, with £250 towards legal expenses and a £15 victim surcharge – totalling £2,765.
The admitted charges included: staff not wearing suitable, clean over-clothing and not cleaning the dirty kitchen floor.
There was also a dirty meat slicer presenting a risk of contamination and poor pest-proofing to a rear food storage shed, where the roof was caving in.
Councillor Richard Wright, executive board member with responsibility for environmental heath said: "It is essential that the public has confidence in the quality of all food premises across the district.
"We give our traders continuous support and encouragement to help them improve their businesses and maintain standards.
"But at the same time our inspections are rigorous and we do not hesitate to take enforcement action where circumstances warrant it."
Councillor Wright added: "We are keen to promote the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.
"This scheme allows shoppers and diners to readily gauge hygiene standards and make informed decisions about where to buy and where to eat."
The Target contacted the business but no one was available to comment.
The hygiene rating for all 772 certified food premises can be found online at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk under food hygiene ratings.