Putrefying fillings see sandwich firm fined £50,000

By Anne Bruce and Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food, Hygiene, Food safety

One of photos taken by Luton Borough Council at Nilojan Foods' site
One of photos taken by Luton Borough Council at Nilojan Foods' site
Nilojan Food has been fined £55,000 after health inspectors found putrefying fillings at its Luton premises. But the former md has told FoodManufacture.co.uk that he wished the local council had been "a little bit more understanding".

Magistrates found the company, which supplied local retailers and forecourts and produced 350 sandwiches and 60 filled rolls a day at the time, guilty of 11 food hygiene offences at a hearing at Luton Magistrates Court on March 4.

Food safety officers discovered unsanitary conditions on a routine inspection in November 2009, including defective drains that had recently flooded, allowing raw sewage to flow over the floors of the preparation area; sandwich wrappers were also found on the floor amongst the effluent.

Structural defects in the premises meant food was exposed to contamination from splintering wood and crumbling plaster. Equipment and surfaces were dirty, with encrusted food remains splashed up walls and pooling dirty liquid on preparation benches.

The council was right, technically...

Nilojan Foods is no longer trading, although the firm still has a website promoting itself as a producer of sandwiches, salads and convenience foods, but former md J.Nilojan told FoodManufacture.co.uk:

"Technically, what Luton Borough Council did was right, but at the time I had personal problems, and shortly after I took over the building ​[the production facility], I had to go to India for two months"​.

Nilojan said he put someone in charge of the facility, owned by his uncle, but insisted that they "failed with the day-to-day housekeeping"​.

"There was heavy rainfall the day before the [council] visit, which UK drainage systems cannot cover. There was an inspection hole in the production area and water came up, but the people entrusted with the site didn't clean up properly."

...but could have been a bit more reasonable

Luton Borough Council said that containers of mouldy, putrefying sandwich fillings were found, along with mouldy filled rolls; food safety officers immediately closed the premises.

But Nilojan said he thought the council could have been a "little bit more reasonable". ​"I told them the situation, and if they'd given me even six or 12 hours I would have sorted everything out. I am aware of food safety law to a high level.​"

But magistrates said the business posed "a very grave risk to the public"​ and imposed maximum fines totalling £55,000, and also ordered the company to pay the Luton Borough Council’s costs of £2,280.

Nilojan Foods did not attend the court hearing and did not enter a plea.

Related topics: Food Safety, Chilled foods

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2 comments

Food unfit for Human Consumption

Posted by Khon Rak,

Yes. I totally agree, but there are so many foods that are prepared around the world that really are unfit for human consumption. Rotten, dead, bacteria infested, acidic offerings...Fresh, organic vegetables are the back bone to a healthy diet. Bacteria won't grow on raw vegetables.

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Food Hygene in UK & rest of World.

Posted by Nicholas,

Inspectors from the local council followed and implemented the right action.

There are so many Food prep companies in UK abusing the system/rule of thumb/regulations. Here in Southeast Asia there are so many prep/cooked/food or restaurants that offer foods produced in an dirty/unhygenic areas. Personal Hygene is also very important. The bottom line is awareness.

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