By Chris Young | LDRS

A bakery that supplied cakes to dozens of Bradford businesses was shut down after inspectors found it in a “filthy” condition, and littered with mouse droppings.

And during the inspection officers found a plastic tub used to store Nutmeg also contained an “unidentified dropping” and a large, dead spider.

Khalid Hussain was the owner and, at the time of the January 2020 inspection, sole employee of Fine Bakers at Bullroyd Industrial Estate – a business that has since taken on new ownership.

He appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court this morning, charged with a string of food hygiene offences.

Hussain, 48 of Morningside, Bradford, pleaded guilty, and was ordered to pay over £3,600 in fines and costs after the court was shown photos of the business that showed mouse droppings on what a Magistrate said was “every single piece of equipment.”

The case was being prosecuted by Bradford Council, and involved seven charges, ranging from not ensuring food preparation equipment was clean to failure to keep records of where food was being bought from and sold to.

Harjit Ryatt, prosecuting, told the court that the business, based in a single storey industrial unit, was inspected on January 16 last year.

The inspection started out poorly when inspectors found Hussain working at the site wearing a filthy, ripped overcoat.

Mr Ryatt said: “Officers found a large quantity of mouse droppings in the kitchen. There were also mouse droppings on the shelving.

“They found a white plastic tub of nutmeg that also contained an unidentified dropping and a large, dead spider.”

Cooking equipment, such as a Kenmore mixer, was filthy and a food processor was “caked in dirt.”

 

Black mould discovered at Fine Bakers during health inspection (January 2020)

Mr Ryatt added: “A non-working fridge contained mixing bowls containing hardened chocolate. Sugar solution was in a bowl with a wooden spoon that had gone black with mould.”

Hussain told inspectors that he was not baking a huge amount of goods, but developing samples to send out to businesses as a way of helping get the business off the ground.

But Mr Ryatt pointed out that receipts found at the business – one for 550 kg of ingredients and another for 24 litres of artificial cream, implied that the business was in fact mass producing baked goods.

It was later found that the businesses had been supplying between 20 to 25 cafes and other food businesses in Bradford.

The business was issued with a prohibition notice, effectively shutting it down.

On January 24 inspectors returned and found the defendant at the site with pest control workers and a man called Mr Ali, who officers were told would be taking over the business.

The premises was found to be in a much better condition, with the issues resolved, and it was allowed to re-open. Hussain is no longer involved in the business.

Mr Ayub, representing Hussain, said: “This is something that Mr Hussain is deeply ashamed about.”

He told the court that he set up the business in June 2018 after completing a food hygiene and production course at Leeds City College.

Mr Ayub said: “This was a lifetime achievement for him. It is unfortunate for him to be in a position like this after so many years of training for something he was excited and hopeful would be a success.”

People had offered to support Hussain in his business, but some of these offers were later retracted.

Mr Ayub added: “Because of this he went from working with four part time workers producing goods to supply to businesses in Bradford to where it was left to just him to take care of everything. No-one was helping him and he was desperately trying to save his business.

“He has learned a very expensive lesson.”

The court heard he was already in negotiations to sell the business when the inspection took place.

Mr Ayub said: “Whilst the mouse infestation was there, he says it was light.”

Presiding Justice Glen Armstead said: “It is fair to say that the pictures don’t seem to show minimal mouse droppings. They are on every single piece of equipment.”

He added: “You’ve tried your best and gone to college to obtain qualifications. However, as your defence says, things possibly got on top of you when offers of support were retracted. That has been your downfall.”

He was fined £320 for each individual offence, which added up to £2,240, as well as paying £1,345 costs and a £34 surcharge.

After the case Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for healthy people and places, said: “When it comes to food safety and keeping the public safe, there are never any short cuts.

“Bradford Council will always take action to make sure people get the quality of food they deserve from manufacturers in the District.

“We are always willing to work with business owners to help them achieve these standards, but if people continue to ignore the rules and create serious health risks, we have no choice but to take legal action to protect the public.

“We appreciate the support of the courts in our efforts to keep our residents safe.”