Edmonton-based Doce Bakers & Sweets Ltd and Sweet Mahall Ltd, which share the same premises, have been ordered to pay a total of £152,823.23 for a string of hygiene failings.

Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard that Enfield Council health inspectors visited the site - jointly used to manufacture desserts, sweets and baked goods - on 28 January 2016.

They discovered a pest infestation that was described as posing “a real risk of food poisoning and illness to the public”. Floors and equipment were found to be filthy, with a tennis racket being used to mash potatoes.

Rubbish piled up outside the premises

During a second visit in July, inspectors found additional contraventions had occurred and the level of cleanliness had declined.

Appearing before Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 24 October, Doce Bakers & Sweets and Sweet Mahall pleaded guilty to offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013. The charges against Doce Bakers & Sweets related to findings made during the January visit.

Sweet Mahall was ordered to pay £84,000 for six offences, a £170 victim surcharge and costs of £3,771.69, while Doce Bakers & Sweets was ordered to pay £44,000 for four offences, a £70 victim surcharge and costs of £3,774.80.

Sweet Mahall company director Rana Ahmad was ordered to pay £5,220, a victim surcharge of £170 and costs of £5,807.94. Doce Bakers & Sweets company director Nizakat Ali was ordered to pay £1,890 for two offences, plus a victim surcharge of £94 and costs of £3,774.80.

Cllr Daniel Anderson, cabinet member for the environment at Enfield Council, said the council had a duty to protect residents against any risk to their health and would take action when necessary.

“We take a dim view of any food outlets whose premises aren’t kept in a hygienic state for the manufacture of food,” said Anderson. “Our residents have the right to expect the food they buy to be safe to eat.”