Baker fined for mouldy produce

Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest crime and court news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A baker who was alleged to have sold a mouldy bread pudding at Sudbury market has been fined for food hygiene offences.

Peter McCarthy, a sole trader who operates a bakery in Brentwood and bread and cake stalls at markets across the south east trading as McCarthy’s Country Store, was found guilty of two food hygiene offences and fined a total of £2,500.

Yesterday (September 30), the 48-year-old from Brentwood appeared before Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to the charge of obstructing an officer acting in the execution of the hygiene regulations, but not guilty to placing unsafe food on the market.

A member of the public, Barry Abson, had complained to Babergh District Council that before July 10, 2014 he had been sold a piece of mouldy bread pudding from McCarthys Country Store market stall on Sudbury Market.

Although the defendant denied that his business had sold the product, he failed to produce the necessary traceability documents to prove this.

The bench was persuaded by the evidence of the complainant, the market superintendent and the environmental health officers and found McCarthy guilty.

McCarthy has been fined £1,000 for the unsafe food charge, £1,500 for the obstruction charge and a victim surcharge of £120.

Full legal and investigative costs of £1,280 were awarded to Babergh District Council.

Emma Richbell, senior food and safety officer, said: “Unfortunately Mr McCarthy’s lack of cooperation with our investigation has resulted in a court hearing and heavy fine.

“Mobile businesses may think they can avoid food safety enforcement by moving on when things go wrong.

“This case demonstrates that Babergh District Council will pursue food business operators who fail to comply with the law to ensure a level playing field for compliant businesses.”