On 18 May 2018 Mr Satpal Singh Nangpal of Heston Avenue, Hounslow, the owner of Reading Quality Foods, was sentenced at Reading Magistrates’ Court for several offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 and the Health and Safety Act. He was fined £3,928 in total and banned from being involved in the management of a food business in the future.
This was as a result of investigation and prosecution by Reading Council which in November 2016 uncovered rat and cockroach infestations and general lack of sanitary conditions for food preparation in Mr Nangpal’s store at Reading Quality Foods, 73-75 Northumberland Avenue.
The Council’s food and safety team closed the store on 7 November 2016 using Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notices. Following this closure, the business has since ceased to trade. Nevertheless Reading Council continued with a prosecution and the owner was convicted and sentenced as set out above.
This case highlights the importance of appreciating and complying with your responsibilities under the food safety and hygiene legislation.
Even if you cease trading after the breaches are discovered, you may still face significant personal liability and a life-time ban on being involved in a food business.
Food Safety & Hygiene: the basics
In general, food safety and hygiene laws apply to all businesses involved in production, preparation or distribution of food.
It is important to appreciate that your legal obligations under the food safety and hygiene laws are significant and your compliance can be checked by your local council inspector at any point. Usually, inspectors will come unannounced. It may be a routine inspection or as a result of a complaint from a customer or neighbour next door.
Inspectors will look at your premises, food, records and procedures. They can take food samples as well as photographs and videos.
If inspectors identify significant or persistent non-compliance by your business, they will usually look to prosecute. Penalties on conviction can be substantial fines and/or imprisonment and the business’ reputation will be severely damaged.
Experts in food safety and hygiene law
At Deo Volente Solicitors we have specialist knowledge in food safety and hygiene compliance.
If you have been invited to attend a formal interview or have received a court summons in relation to food safety and hygiene offences, it is very important to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. In our experience, early legal advice and intervention can help avoid prosecution altogether.
Our friendly and highly professional team will carry out a thorough analysis of your case, collate the best evidence possible in support of your defence and identify and exploit various avenues of defending your case and not just the most obvious.
To discuss your case with a specialist Regulatory Solicitor call Nastassia Khilkevich on 01234 673 400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free initial consultation about your case.