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A cafe located in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, and its owner, have been fined following an investigation by a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, for failure to act on hygiene and safety improvement notices.

The Crown Cafe was issued with the notices following an inspection in August 2015. The Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner was sent on behalf of Southend Council, and discovered that the kitchen did not have a separate wash basin for hand washing only, the owner had not maintained the electrical installations at the cafe, and had no management system in place to ensure the safe preparation of food.

One Health and Safety Improvement Notice and two Hygiene Improvement Notices were issued by the official, for the attention of the owner, Agneska De'Ath. The official conducted follow up visits in September, but found that no action had been taken to comply with the notices. The owner and the cafe itself were found guilty of a health and safety offence and two food hygiene offences. Southend Magistrates' Court heard evidence provided by the cafe owner/director, and found her guilty of three offences.

Mark Flewitt, the executive councillor for Housing, Planning and Public Protection Services, stated that although it was regrettable that the action had to be taken by the council, he welcomed the court decision as the owner had repeatedly ignored advice and warnings. The owner was fined £1,440, while the cafe was fined £16,000.

All businesses must take action to prevent members of the public being harmed. This includes employees, who should be issued with specialist workwear if required.

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