Wick shopkeeper flouts food hygiene laws

A shopkeeper in the West Sussex region of Wick has been prosecuted for breaching food hygiene regulations, after inspectors discovered out of date food products on sale in her store.

Suventhiny Kanapathipillai, the owner of the Wick Parade Mini Market, was prosecuted at Worthing Magistrates’ Court after environmental health inspectors from Arun District Council uncovered a number of problems at her Wick Street shop.

As well as out-of-date food being on display and offered for sale, there was a problem with a hot water heater. Some food products were also not being stored at the right temperatures, which is a basic topic covered as part of most food hygiene courses.

Ms Kanapathipillai was asked to produce evidence of a documented food safety management system, but was served with an official Improvement Notice when she repeatedly failed to do so. The shopkeeper failed to comply with the notice, which is a criminal offence and eventually led to her prosecution. The business owner was found guilty of breaking food hygiene laws and will be sentenced soon.

Commenting on the case, the council’s Paul Dendle said:

“Food businesses must have systems in place to ensure that the food they sell is safe. In this case food safety procedures were flawed which resulted in food being stored at the wrong temperature and food on display beyond its use-by date, which can have serious health implications for customers.”