Fish and chip shop operator fined for food safety and hygiene breaches

The operator of The Lemon Plaice at Bellgate in Hemel Hempstead has been fined following an inspection by our Environmental Health (Food Safety) team.

On Wednesday 25 October 2023, at St Albans Magistrates' Court, Mr Thangarajah Nesarajah, pleaded guilty to 11 charges relating to various breaches of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations. The main charge related to the failure to ensure adequate procedures were in place to control pests. The remaining charges related to the failure to clean and maintain the condition of the premises, failure to comply with a Hygiene Improvement Notice served and failure to put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.

Magistrates fined Nesarajah £5,000, and ordered him to pay prosecution costs of £5,000 and a victim surcharge of £2,000. The total came to £12,000. 

Emma Walker, Group Manager Environmental and Community Protection (Regulatory Services), said: “Our officers work tirelessly conducting inspections to ensure that premises are complying with the required regulations. We take a strict approach in cases like this in line with our enforcement policy and, as shown, will send cases to court, if necessary."

Councillor Robin Bromham, our Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Operations, said: “We're committed to ensuring food standards remain high throughout Dacorum to safeguard our residents and visitors. We won't hesitate to use the full range of regulatory interventions available to us when tackling high-risk, illegal or poor performing food businesses.

“Given the severity of the conditions in this particular case, both our Environmental Health and Legal teams did an excellent job intervening and bringing about a successful prosecution. This prevented any members of the public from becoming extremely ill or, worse still, losing their lives.”