Uxbridge caterer must pay more than £60,000 and receives suspended prison sentence after listeria found in sandwiches

Uxbridge magistrates court
Uxbridge Magistrates Court

A sandwich business and its owner that seriously breached food hygiene regulations have been ordered to pay a total of £61,343 at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court following a successful prosecution by Hillingdon Council’s food health and safety team.

Perfect Bite Limited on Wallingford Road in Uxbridge was ordered to pay a fine of £37,500, a victim surcharge of £181 and £11,767 in legal costs. Its owner Muhammed Akram was also ordered to pay legal costs of £11,767, together with a victim surcharge of £128 and received a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. Akram must also complete 100 hours of unpaid work as part of his sentence.

Perfect Bite and Akram, as its owner, were found guilty of failing to put in place, implement and maintain food hygiene procedures, failing to ensure that food handlers were supervised and instructed and/or trained in their work, neglecting to keep floors and walls well maintained so that they could be easily cleaned and disinfected, and failing to ensure that all articles, fittings and equipment with which food comes into contact were effectively cleaned and, where necessary, disinfected.

At his hearing, Akram was also banned from running a food business again, after his company was found to have significant food hygiene failings which led to listeria being discovered in samples taken from chicken, egg and sausage sandwiches. Listeria is a bacteria found on contaminated food which can cause serious illness to pregnant women, people aged over 65 and people with weakened immune systems.

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “It’s shocking to think that Perfect Bite was supplying sandwiches to the public with fillings that were dangerously out of date, in an unclean environment, that were also prepared by staff who were clueless about food hygiene.

“Had it not been for the diligent work of our food safety team to thoroughly investigate the business and build a case against Akram, it was only a matter of time before a member of the public became seriously ill (or worse) from eating food produced by Perfect Bite.”