Letchworth bakery owner must pay £5,000 after admitting 16 food hygiene offences

An insect found in a poppy seed sack at the Denturax Works in Icknield Way, Letchworth.

An insect found in a poppy seed sack at the Denturax Works in Icknield Way, Letchworth. - Credit: Archant

A Letchworth bakery owner must pay more than £5,000 after he admitted 16 food hygiene offences on Friday.

Amjad Ghafoor Malik and his company The Garden City Bread Company Ltd – trading as The AGM Bread Company in Leys Avenue – were charged with eight food hygiene offences each. They ranged from failing to keep areas and utensils clean to not protecting food from contamination.

Malik had also failed to ensure all ingredients were kept in proper conditions. The 48-year-old, of South View, pleaded guilty to all counts when he appeared at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The 16 offences were all breaches of EU regulations, as specified in the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations, 2013, and were brought to court by North Herts District Council.

The firm, based at Denturax Works in Icknield Way, had supplied food for its shop in Leys Avenue, as well as local markets, caterers and retailers.

Malik and his company were fined £2,960, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £40 and the council’s costs of £2,557.33 for bringing the case before the court – making a total of £5,557.33.

Passing sentence, the magistrates said that they took into account that Malik had entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity and taken great steps to improve conditions since the inspection in February last year.

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Peter Carey, the district council’s environmental health manager, said: “We inspect food premises to ensure owners of food outlets comply with food safety legislation to keep consumers safe and protected from illness and injury.

“This prosecution sends out a clear message to food business operators – food hygiene regulations are in place to protect the public, and if standards are not maintained there will be serious consequences.”

Hygiene ratings are available for all food outlets at food.gov.uk/ratings.