A former director of a large wholesale cash and carry business based on Bessemer Road, Cardiff has been ordered to pay a total of £2,517 due to a rat infestation at his premises.
Charges were also brought against him after failing to get the necessary approval from the authorising authority to supply foods of 'animal origin' including meat products for human consumption over a 30-mile radius.
LS Wholesale Ltd, found at Unit 16d Wholesales Fruit Centre, is a wholesale business that supplies spices, vegetables, meat, fish and other foods of 'animal origin' to nearby shops and restaurants.
Between December 6 2021 and September 20 2022, Environmental Health Officers from Shared Regulatory Services on behalf of Cardiff Council visited the business on several occasions to find a widespread rat infestation and other food hygiene offences, including:
Shah Mohammed Islam, 46, of Beauchamp Street in Riverside, pleaded guilty to four offences and was subsequently sentenced at Cardiff Magistrates' Court on April 13, 2023.
Mr Islam at the time of the offences was the sole Director of LS Wholesale Ltd and therefore had overall responsibility for the business. LS Wholesale Ltd was also ordered to pay a total of £8,852.
In defence, Mr Islam claimed that he had co-operated with the authorities throughout the investigation and that standards had improved at his business, with improved cleanliness and a new shutter door fitted to stop the rodents getting into the building.
He also said that their pest control company had done everything that they could do deal with the rat infestation, and they did not blatantly disregard the law.
Mr Islam also confirmed that the meat in question was destroyed and was not sold to their customers but accepted there was a clear 'error of judgement' transporting meat for human consumption without the required licence.
Councillor Dan De'Ath, Cabinet Member responsible for Shared Regulatory Services at Cardiff Council, said:
"Whilst the defendants had shown co-operation with the Council, and standards improved in the premises as a result of officers' interventions, the evidence clearly demonstrated failure to comply with Food Hygiene Regulations.
"As the District Judge made clear in court, these offences are serious, as Mr Islam ran a large business which supplied a lot of people, so the importance of food safety laws should have always been followed.
"This sentence should send a clear message to other food businesses, whether wholesale businesses or restaurants, that we take these matters very seriously and we will act on intelligence received and take the appropriate action."
LS Wholesale Ltd was fined £7,335 and ordered to pay costs of £1,327 with a victim surcharge of £190.
Mr Shah Mohammed Islam was fined £1,000, ordered to pay costs of £1,327, with a victim surcharge of £190.
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