The owner of The Garden City Bread Company in Hertfordshire, has been fined more than £5,500 after pleading guilty to 16 food hygiene offences.

The Garden City Bread Company and owner Amjad Ghafoor Malik were each charged with eight different offences, including failure to ensure ingredients were kept in appropriate conditions and failure to clean utensils that had come into contact with food.

On 22 April, Stevenage Magistrates Court fined Malik and his company, which trades as The AGM Bread Company, £2,960, plus a victim surcharge of £40 and council costs of £2,557.33.

Magistrates said that when making their decision they had taken into account the fact Mr Malik had entered a guilty plea at the first opportunity, and had made efforts to improve his premises.

The charges, all of which were contraventions of EC Regulations and Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, were brought by North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC).

Peter Carey, environmental health manager at NHDC, said: “We inspect food premises to ensure owners of food outlets comply with food safety legislation, to keep consumers safe and protected from illness and injury.

“This prosecution sends out a clear message to food business operators – food hygiene regulations are in place to protect the public, and if standards are not maintained there will be serious consequences.”