Cafe owner fined for food almost two weeks old

The Hatless Heron
The Hatless Heron

The owner of a Whitby cafe has been fined for stocking food almost a fortnight past its sell-by-date.

Stephen Garrett, owner of Hatless Heron on Church Street was fined £300 at Scarborough Magistrates Court last Friday and also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £600 and a £30 victim surcharge after pleading guilty to two food hygiene offences.

Scarborough Borough Council brought the prosecution after an environmental health officer carried out a routine food hygiene inspection in December.

The court heard that she found conditions to be generally poor and noted a number of steaks, which visually appeared to have deteriorated in quality and were 12 days past the indicated use by date or had no indication of shelf life.

Additional issues were found to be outstanding from the previous inspection, such as dual use of a vacuum packer for both raw meat and ready to eat food, cross contamination issues, cleanliness, repairs to structure and equipment.

Revisits were made to secure improvements in cleaning and hygiene improvement notices were served to ensure compliance with outstanding issues.

The business also received a food hygiene rating of 0.

Scarborough Borough Council Environment, Regulation and Resilience Manager, Steve Reynolds, said: “This was a clear breach of the food hygiene legislation, which is in place to protect the public.

“The use by date of a food product is the date until which the manufacturer of the food guarantees it is safe to eat.

“Food sold beyond the use by date is unfit for human consumption and this is an offence. “We will take action against any food business which does not comply with this food safety requirement.”

Hatless Heron has since ceased trading.