Failure To Display Food Hygiene Score Lands Cafe Owner In Court
A Newport café owner has ended up in court for failing to publicly display their food hygiene rating.
Following a routine food hygiene inspection by Newport City Council’s Environmental Health Officers, Cedars cafe in the city centre was awarded a zero food hygiene rating for poor standards.
The zero rating was awarded in May 2016 for the premises in Skinner Street, and officers later revisited the café to ensure hygiene standards had improved.
Despite many warnings, the zero score was not displayed at Cedars, and in August 2016 a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 was served on the food business operator Josephine Roberts.
Under food hygiene rules, if a premises wants to be rescored the owner has to pay for such a visit to take place.
At this time Ms Roberts paid for a rescore inspection, however, as she failed to display the zero rating, such an inspection could not be carried out despite several attempts by Environmental Heath to resolve the matter. The fee was then refunded.
Even after further warnings, Ms Roberts continued to flout the law by failing to display the zero Food Hygiene Rating sticker, leaving Newport City Council no option but to prosecute.
At Cwmbran Magistrates Court, on January 23, Ms Roberts pleaded guilty to the charge of failing to display the food hygiene rating and was given a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay full costs to the Council of £750 plus a £20 victim surcharge.
However, a programmed food hygiene inspection was carried out this month resulting in Cedars Café being awarded a rating of 3, which means generally satisfactory. This rating is now being clearly displayed at the café.
Councillor Bob Poole, Cabinet Member for Regulatory Functions said: “When eating out, visitors to restaurants and businesses selling food to the public have a right to know if the operators are working within the law.
“It is the law across Wales for food businesses to display their food hygiene rating, irrespective of whether it is the top score of 5 or the lowest of zero and our officers will ensure compliance.
“Consumers are entitled to know the rating so they can make an informed choice as to where to eat. If they cannot see a rating they can report it to Environmental Health.”
A food business has to display its food hygiene rating in a prominent place.
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