£20,000 Fine for Cafe Over Health and Safety Failures

Health and safety policies may be common sense to many business owners, but for those attempting to cut corners they’re sometimes seen as simply an inconvenience. Fortunately for the peace of mind of the general public, one cafe owner in Southend recently learned the hard way that breaking the law comes with consequences after being slapped with fines totalling over £20,000.

The Crown Cafe, situated on Southchurch Road, failed a routine inspection last August which was conducted by the local council. Environmental health professionals who attended the cafe reported that the kitchen had no facilities for employees to wash their hands while working, no documentation was provided to support safe handling of food, and the electricity supply was in a dangerous state of disrepair.

Following the initial visit, repeat visits were made twice in the subsequent month. Officials found that nothing had been done to rectify the problems, which represented a severe breach of health and safety laws. In a relatively unusual turn of events, action was then pursued by the council over the course of a year which eventually resulted in the cafe’s owner being found guilty of three offences in court.

apples-490474_640As a result of the prosecution, the owner was instructed to pay £1,440 as well as £1,000 in court costs. Meanwhile, the company itself was ordered to pay a £16,000 fine in addition to the remaining £2,162.50 in court fees. On top of this, a £188 victim surcharge was required from both the owner and the company, bringing the total to over £20,000 as a result of the policy breaches.

Since the court’s decision was made public, the cafe itself has changed hands and is no longer under the management of the owner who was found responsible for the health and safety violations.