Mr Jose Paulo Costa Fonseca, of Costa’s Café was charged and pleaded guilty to a total of 8 food hygiene offences, including failing to have adequate pest control procedures, failing to keep the premises clean and maintained, and failure to comply with two hygiene improvement notices.
The café is an independently owned business and is not connected to coffee shop chain Costa Coffee.
Environmental health officers visited the business at 118 King’s Cross Road three times over a six-month period from April to October 2018. During the inspections mice droppings were found throughout the premises including in the kitchen and food preparation areas. Other issues included: grease on the walls and the ventilation canopy; every sink filled with dirty, used crockery meaning hands were not being washed; and dirty fridges with heavy levels of food debris and spillages throughout.
Council officers served two hygiene improvement notices but despite repeat visits by council staff, the appropriate hygiene improvements were not made.
Taking into account the guilty plea, Highbury Corner Magistrates Court Mr Fonseca was fined £6000, with £2500 costs awarded and a victim surcharge of £170 – a total cost to him of £8670.
Cllr Andy Hull, Executive Member for Finance, Performance and Community Safety, said:
"Food safety and hygiene standards are about more than just the “ick” factor –thousands of people a year are hospitalised as a result of food poisoning. People need to be able to trust that the food they buy and eat is safe, and food businesses need to understand they have a serious responsibility to ensure this is the case.
"The council does offer businesses help and advice on food hygiene and standards issues, including training courses and management training. However, when serious problems are found and standards are not met, we will take action."
Islington businesses who want help and support over food hygiene or food standards issues should contact the Commercial Environmental Health Team on 0207 527 3816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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