On Tuesday, February 5, Jenny’s Café Ban Ltd pleaded guilty at Oxford Magistrates’ Court to five food hygiene charges. They were for food left unprotected against contamination, pest control problems; and the cleanliness and maintenance of the building.Jenny’s was also prosecuted for poor record keeping and inadequate staff training.
The offences took place on and before November 3, 2017, on which date the premises was inspected by Cherwell and given a score of zero on the Food Standards Agency rating scheme.
The café was ordered to pay a fine of £10,000 plus £12,804 in costs and a victim surcharge. The fine was set by the bench to reflect the gravity of the most serious offence, the size of the company, and its turnover.
Cllr Andrew McHugh, Cherwell’s lead member for health and wellbeing, said: “Poor food hygiene in cafés and restaurants poses a very real danger to customers. For the protection of the public, we are clear that the worst offences should be met with serious enforcement measures."This substantial fine serves as a warning to other businesses who think that cutting corners will also cut costs."
The cafe, in Banbury's High Street, has responded with an upgrade of facilities and significant investment.
Cllr McHugh said: "Thankfully, the management at Jenny’s have responded quickly to the charges brought against them and have been very co-operative with Cherwell’s environmental health officers. With our support, Jenny’s has now gone above and beyond what was required of them to turn the corner.“With a £24,000 kitchen refurbishment now complete, they have moved from a zero rating to three out of five. That shows just how quickly a business can improve and start to win back the confidence of its customers when compliance with Government food hygiene guidelines is taken seriously.”
Jenny’s was last inspected by Cherwell environmental health officers on November 19 last year, when it was rated three out of five for food hygiene. This indicates that they have made a reasonable improvement and are considered ‘generally satisfactory’ in relation to hygiene.