A fruit and vegetable business has been fined £32,000 for numerous food safety offences, including failure to keep the premises clean.
Adams Fruits Limited, owner of Adam’s Fruit & Veg, 283 High Street, Slough, pleaded guilty to all the offences which included not keeping the food premises maintained in good condition.
Other offences included not ensuring raw materials were stored at the premises to protect them from contamination, the walk-in chiller was disorganised, with raw meats being close to ready to eat fruit and vegetables, such as berries. The raw meats and the fruit, vegetables and herbs were not sufficiently segregated, posing a high risk of contamination.
An adequate number of washbasins for cleaning hands with hot and cold running water, and hygienic drying, was not provided and there was no hot water in the WC basin or drying facilities.
There were no pest control procedures in place, as there were mouse droppings at various parts of the premises, including on shelves, in a box displaying walnuts, on a plastic container of dates and a packet of tortillas, near the butchery display counter.
As well as this, the rear door was dirty, with a hole at the bottom of the door, the door to the walk- in chiller was filthy, with traces of blood and the WC basin was dirty, causing concerns of cross contamination.
The top of a dirty chest freezer was being used with cardboard on top for a cutting surface for watermelon. This is not a material that can be cleaned and attracts moisture, allowing bacteria to grow.
A chest freezer full of products (meat/fish) was defrosted and emitting an unpleasant odour, and the bottom of the freezer contained liquid drippings from the bags, including blood.
There were no regular cleaning schedules of hand contact points to avoid cross contamination, no schedules to check temperatures on chillers and freezers to ensure they were at the right level and staff were not demonstrating good standards of personal hygiene.
These offences relate to poor standards found in November 2022 and June 2023. The premises was formally closed on 17 November 2022 due to a health risk condition. Significant improvements were made to allow it to re-open on 18 November 2022. It took several visits for standards to improve sufficiently. The premises was visited again in June 2023, where standards were found to be very poor again, and further enforcement was taken by the Food & Safety Team.
Ann Stewart, food & safety professional, Slough Borough Council, said: “We will support businesses in achieving compliance, however when a business presents a risk to public health and do not improve after we have asked them to, we have no option other than to take enforcement action. We hope that this business and other businesses in Slough will learn and ensure satisfactory food safety controls are in place at all times to protect Slough residents and visitors.”
Councillor Iftakhar Ahmed, lead member for community cohesion, public health, public protection, leisure and planning, said: “We have a fantastic Food & Safety Team here in Slough who are dedicated to making sure that standards are met for our residents’ safety. If you run a business here and do not adhere to those standards, we will work with you to achieve them, but will not hesitate to take action if you not do not comply.”