A butcher who was found keeping meat in unsafe and unsanitary conditions has been forced to pay out over £15,000 in fines and costs after appearing at Basildon Magistrates Court on Tuesday 12 July.
During a visit to Jones Meat Market, Derwent Parade, South Ockendon in July 2021, Thurrock Council Environmental Health Officers forced the owner to surrender food to protect public health after they found a number of serious food hygiene breaches. These included:
- meat being stored at the wrong temperature
- an excessive number of flies
- cross-contamination risks
- food improperly labelled
- a failure to keep equipment suitably disinfected
Following the hearing, the business – Kens Butchers Ltd – was fined £12,000 and owner Kenneth Christy, aged 59, was given a £467 fine and ordered to pay costs of £2,562.
Leader of Thurrock Council and Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: "The safety of our residents is our greatest concern and Thurrock Council will not hesitate to take action where businesses disregard hygiene standards.
"Our food team had engaged this butcher and worked with him to improve standards but we were forced to take enforcement action when inspections in July 2021 found serious non-compliance with food hygiene regulations.
"The majority of businesses in the borough are properly run and protect their customers by maintaining high standards of hygiene. If they fail to do that, we will always put the safety of residents first and prosecute unsafe or unhygienic businesses."