A Kegworth fish bar has been shut down by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) after prolonged food hygiene failures and claims from customers about food poisoning.
Gary and Vincent Bailey, the co-owners of Bailey’s Fish Bar in Derby Road, appeared in Leicester Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday 29 November to plead guilty to nine food hygiene offences.
The brothers are now both the subject of Hygiene Prohibition Orders which bans them from operating any kind of food business.
NWLDC argued that there had been a long history of non-compliance in food safety matters, which led to a scathing food hygiene inspection in March 2017.
On this visit, which followed reports of alleged food poisoning from customers, a number of serious issues were highlighted. These included:
- Dirty hand-washing facilities and staff not washing hands before handling food
- Filthy work surfaces with accumulations of batter mix and grease
- Evidence of cross-contamination between raw and ready-to-eat foods
- Flying insects and evidence of insects hatching
- Toxic rodent bait on the floor of the food storage area
- Dirty refrigerators and freezers
- Food for sale that had not been adequately reheated.
The premises was issued with a zero hygiene food rating and the owners told to make immediate improvements, which appeared to be initially acted upon.
The court was told however that in September, and following new food poisoning complaints, the fish bar was visited again by NWLDC inspectors.
On this occasion samples were taken from the premises and sent for analysis by Public Health England. The results confirmed the presence of unacceptable levels of the dangerous bacteria Staphylococci and Enterobacteriaceae.
It was at this point that NWLDC took the Bailey brothers to court seeking a Hygiene Prohibition Order, which has now been granted, banning the pair from operating any food business until a court sees fit to lift it.
Gary and Vincent Bailey were also fined £400 each and ordered to pay a combined £4,282 in costs.
Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services at NWLDC, said: “As the evidence shows, there were a number of very serious food hygiene issues at the fish bar over a sustained period of time.
“We always look to support businesses to improve their hygiene standards and the majority of food outlets in our district are very highly rated. However, despite final chances being given earlier this year, the discovery of harmful bacteria and reports of sickness in September made the Hygiene Prohibition Order absolutely necessary.
“The health of our residents is always our priority, and we will always take reports of poor hygiene and food poisoning very seriously.”