Former fish and chip shop owner prosecuted
An Ashfield resident has been prosecuted and prohibited from managing a food business following the discovery of unhygienic practises.
Jane Silvester, of Edward Street, Kirkby in Ashfield, was the food business operator of Poole’s Plaice, The Twitchell, Sutton in Ashfield in 2021, and at the time of the offences. Ashfield District Council’s Environmental Health Team visited the premises after receiving complaints of unhygienic practices at the fish and chip shop on 13 May 2021.
Several serious food safety violations were found during the visit including a lack of food safety management system, food past its use-by date, food stored at the wrong temperature, and a mouse infestation. Mouse droppings were found throughout the premises and on shelves, on napkins, underneath preparation tables, inside containers holding cutlery and food equipment, next to food items, and above work surfaces. Various mouse traps were found throughout the premises and a dead mouse was found trapped in a wall, indicating Silvester was aware of the problem.
The conditions found posed an imminent risk to public health and Silvester agreed to an immediate voluntary closure of the premises.
The case was initially set for a hearing at Mansfield Magistrates court on 30 June 2022, however Silvester failed to attend and a warrant for her arrest was issued.
Silvester was arrested and on 24 January 2023, the case was heard at Nottingham Magistrates Court where she was convicted of five offences under Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of The Council of 29 April 2004 on the Hygiene of Foodstuffs; and of Regulation 19 (1) and (2) of the Food Safety Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
Silvester was fined a total of £960, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £96 and pay legal costs of £1,000. A total amount of £2,056 was ordered to be paid in full in 28 days. Silvester was prohibited from participating in the management of a food business.
The business, formally known as Poole’s Plaice, is now being operated under a new name and has new food business operators.
Cllr John Wilmott, Executive Lead Member for Licensing, Environmental Health and Regulatory Services, said:
“The conditions found at the former Poole’s Plaice were atrocious and posed a real danger to public health. This is a fantastic example of the invaluable work that our Environmental Health Teams carry out every day. They are the hidden heroes making sure that Ashfield businesses are safe and hygienic.”