Store owner banned from managing food business and faces £9000 court bill

The owner of a convenience store in Berkhampstead Road, Chesham, has been banned from managing his food business after repeatedly failing to comply with hygiene laws in his store, which included a halal butcher's shop.

Mohammad Mokarram pleaded guilty to 13 food hygiene offences when he appeared at Wycombe Magistrates Court on Wednesday 26 July 2017. He was fined £4,095 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs.

Environmental Health officers found that ready-to-eat food was contaminated with blood from sheep carcasses, and a Pharaoh's ant infestation was seen throughout the shop. Pharaoh's ants are different to normal garden ants as they carry germs which can be transmitted to food.

The shop was also dirty and equipment was in a poor condition. Repeated breaches of cross contamination risks, and out-of-date food were noted over the four months of subsequent repeated visits by Environmental Health officers.

The Magistrates said the level of fine reflected the fact that the owner had been in business for some time, the large number of offences, the fact that Environmental Health officers were required to be active at the premises for several months, with minimal effort to make improvements at the shop, and that the shop served the wider community.