Meads Bakery in Luton has been forced to close after persistently breaching food hygiene laws, with its owners banned from ever managing a food business again.

Luton Magistrates Court successfully prosecuted the owners, Sunderam and Sathiabama Premanand, earlier this week (14 January), after requests to improve hygiene standards were ignored.

Thick black mould, food debris and evidence of pests were just some of the things discovered during visits by food safety officers between February 2012 and January 2013, according to Luton Borough Council.

The site on Bolton Road produced bread, rolls and pastry items, which were supplied to small retailers throughout Luton and neighbouring counties.

Magistrates imposed fines totalling £38,000 on the owners of the business, along with a banning order which means they cannot manage a food business again.

The defendants were also ordered to pay the council costs of £1,908 and a £15 victim surcharge.

Sunderam Premanand had previously operated the business as a sole trader and was fined £10,000 in 2011 for similar hygiene offences.