The owners of a Leyton-based wholesalers have been given a £25,000 fine after Waltham Forest Council food safety officers found serious failings that could have endangered the health of customers.
In June 2018 officers visited Jumbo UK Ltd, Unit 6 - 9 Lea Valley Business Park, 2-3 Lammas Road, Leyton, E10 7QU, and immediately shut the premises due to filthy, unhygienic storage conditions and active pest infestations.
On Thursday 25 July the case was heard at Thames Magistrates Court where Jumbo UK and its directors Hassam and Chady Krayem had entered guilty pleas. Despite trying to claim in mitigation that an employee responsible for pest control at the store had left without notice, the court found the defendants wholly liable. They were fined a total of £25,000, with an additional victim surcharge of £180 and costs of £1,000 awarded to the council.
Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “There is no excuse for letting a food business become so filthy, so dirty, so pest-ridden that it poses an active risk to the health of customers.
“Pests including mice, rats, and cockroaches can contaminate food and spread diseases. Your reputation relies on keeping a close eye on your premises and making sure they are suitable to operate a food business. We will take action against those who do not meet these requirements.”
Thames Magistrates also heard the case of Akdeniz Supermarket, 147-179 Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 3AL on the same day, Thursday 25 July. Officers closed the store in January 2019 after pests were found in the premises alongside filthy storerooms and shelves. The court fined the owner of Akdeniz £9,000 with a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £900 awarded to the council, with some credit given for an early plea and for the defendant’s remorse.
In an unrelated case, food safety officers found 71 packs of food mouldering past its use-by date during a visit to Wood Street Supermarket, 173 Wood Street, E17 3NU on Friday 26 July. The food could have presented an immediate danger to public health and therefore was seized and kept safely where it could not reach the public.
Thames Magistrates granted the Food Condemnation Order on Wednesday 31 July and awarded the council costs of £956.00.
Consumers can report problems with food they have bought either from a store or restaurant by using the Food Standards Agency’s online reporting function. You can also check the food hygiene rating of any restaurant, diner, or food business before you shop.