Bakery is fined for hygiene breaches at two branches


A London kosher bakery chain has been fined £28,000 for hygiene breaches after cockroaches and mouse droppings were found at two of its branches.

Bension Nassim, director of Sharon's Bakery, Shuki Mozes, general manager, and the company were ordered to pay a combined fine of £8,000, plus £20,000 costs, to Hackney Council at Snaresbrook Crown Court last Friday.

They faced charges under EU food hygiene regulations, including failure to ensure that adequate procedures were in place to control pests; failure to ensure that the premises were kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition; and failure to ensure that raw materials and all ingredients stored in a food business were kept in appropriate conditions.

The company's solicitor, David Somm, said afterwards: "Sharon's Bakery was convicted of five offences and acquitted of 11 offences in respect of two branches in Hackney.

"The judge observed that there was no evidence of any actual contamination of food, or any effect on human health. The prosecution doesn't concern the company's other shops in north-west London."

The branches in Stamford Hill and Woodberry Down were shut down temporarily in June and July 2013 after council environmental health officers found widespread evidence of mice and cockroaches.

This included mouse droppings on packets of food, and on crates used to transport bread and cakes. There was also a gnawed block of chocolate in one of the kitchens. The jury was told that maggots, two of them live, were found next to dirty cooking utensils.

The Stamford Hill branch now has a Food Standards Agency rating of one (in need of major improvement) and the Woodberry Down branch is rated four (good).

Mr Somm said of the one-star rating: "It is legal to trade if a business has a one to five rating", adding that the Hackney bakeries had passed all council inspections since the temporary closures.

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