Owner of Dizz food store, Dagenham, fined thousands for pest infestation
PUBLISHED: 11:19 11 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:49 13 March 2014
The owner of a convenience store was told by a judge that he has “total disregard for food hygiene regulations and public safety”.
Mr Chukwume Okoruwe of Dizz Food in Hedgemans Road, Dagenham was fined over £6,000 after being found guilty of five food hygiene offences including pest infestation and dirty food equipment.
Okoruwe was found to have persistently contravened food hygiene regulations since July 2009 despite repeated attempts by Barking and Dagenham council’s environmental team who offered advice and guidance.
In court, Okoruwe tried to prove that he took all reasonable steps to avoid committing the offences but the jury did not accept his explanations and returned a unanimous verdict which found him guilty on five counts.
He was fined £6,000 with a victim surcharge of £120 at Snaresbrook Crown Court between February 26 and 28.
Okoruwe was visited by the environmental team on September 25, 2012 and his offences included not putting adequate measures in place to control pests, food equipment not being effectively cleaned and accumulation of refuse in the rear yard, all in contrary to food hygiene regulations.
Cllr Jeanne Alexander, cabinet member for crime, justice and communities, said: “The safety of the residents of the borough is top priority for us and if we catch business owners breaking the rules, there will be no option but to take appropriate action even if it means taking them to court.”