Sandwich makers served a slice of justice

A local sandwich company is £20,000 out of pocket for committing a series of food hygiene offences.

Bream UK Foods Limited in Southall, which distributes sandwiches to newsagents, convenience stores and petrol stations throughout the United Kingdom, pleaded guilty to 12 offences at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 27 May 2010.

Eleven offences relate to food hygiene issues and the remaining offence was for ignoring a hygiene emergency prohibition notice, which required the premises to close.

Ealing Council carried out an inspection of Bream UK Foods Limited in July 2009 following complaints about rats and excessive rubbish, .

During the visit, seven food hygiene offences were identified including an uncontrolled infestation of mice, dirty floors, hundreds of sandwiches dumped outside the premises and a substantial amount of grease in a sink used for washing salad. The company was also employing people not trained in the basics of food hygiene.

The council required the immediate closure of the premises, but Bream UK Foods Limited ignored the notice and reopened for business the same day.

The notice was lifted five days later, after the company had made all the necessary improvements.

When Ealing Council conducted a further inspection in September 2009, four additional food hygiene offences were identified.

Councillor Ranjit Dheer, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, said: "It’s shocking that this company was preparing food in such unhygienic conditions."

"This case should serve as reminder that we will prosecute individuals and businesses which flout regulations and put people’s health at serious risk."

Bream UK Foods Limited was fined a total of £14,400, £1,200 for each of the 12 offences and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £5,785.37 and a victim surcharge of £15.