The sudden and unexpected closure of Penarth Bakery and its associated shop in Cornerswell Road last month have now been explained by the outcome of a court case in which proprietor Gareth Spray pleaded guilty to 28 hygiene offences and 8 offences of failing to comply with hygiene notices.
Cardiff Magistrates fined Penarth Bakery £10,000 and Spray himself was given a 4 month suspended jail sentence and a 10 year ban prohibiting him from managing any other food business.
The case was brought against Spray and his company by the Vale of Glamorgan Council inspectors who found there were rodents in the firm’s bakery in Plassey St .
Penarth Bakery had received a zero food hygiene rating – but had failed to display it on the window of their now-closed Cornerswell Road retail shop – as required by law . Some of the food for sale was classed as “unfit for human consumption”.
When PDN first reported that the bakery was closing down Mr Spray’s father John Spray had said that the closure for was commercial reasons because of competition from supermarkets and there was no mention of a pending court appearance.
The shop had implemented stricter hygiene procedures and had recently installed notices requiring sgtaff to ensure that some products were stored in refrigerated displays .
District judge Bodfan Jenkins said Penarth Bakery and its proprietor had shown what he called “a flagrant disregard for the law” and said the firm had initiated measures to rectify the position as “too little, too late.”
Spray was given a 4 months jail sentence suspended for 12 months for two offences of marketing food which was unfit for human consumption and was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work. He was fined £200 for 36 offences – £7,200 in total – and must pay costs of £1,400 plus a “victim surcharge” of £115.
Penarth Bakery Limited was fined £2,600 for the unfit food offences and £200 for each of the remaining offences making a total fine of £10,000 plus costs of £1,400 and a victim surcharge of £200.
Vale Cllr Gwyn John (Llantwit First Independents) who is ‘cabinet’ member for regulatory services, said “the outcome of this court case sends a clear message that firm action will be taken wherever necessary to safeguard the public.”
Many cutomers may wonder however how it was that the bakery was permitted to carry on trading and selling food up until Saturday February 18th – even though the impending closure (although not the real reasons for it) had become public knowledge 10 days earlier.