Market stall firm denies selling mouldy scones

Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Magistrates' Court Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

A company behind a market stall trading across Suffolk and Essex has been accused of breaching food hygiene standards, including selling mouldy scones.

Mid Suffolk District Council has brought action against McCarthy’s Country Store limited which is based in Brentwood in Essex.

The company sells a range of breads and other baked goods like cakes and pastries at markets across the region.

Mid Suffolk alleges that the company has breached a number of provisions under the food safety and hygiene act.

The case was first heard in March but a further hearing was cancelled due to coronavirus.

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At a plea hearing on Monday morning at Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich, Peter McCarthy, director of McCarthy’s Country Store, dialled in to the court to plead not guilty to all but one of the six offences laid before his company.

McCarthy pleaded guilty to one count of failing to maintain high risk foods at or below 8C in August 2019.

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However, McCarthy pleaded not guilty to having placed food not fit for human consumption, namely mouldy scones, up for sale at a market in Stowmarket in July last year.

All the other charges levelled against the company by the council related to contraventions of food hygiene laws at Stowmarket market in early August 2019.

These charges included failing to ensure food handlers were supervised, instructed and or trained, failing to provide adequate hand washing facilities and failing to protect food from contamination.

The prosecution case also alleged that the company had failed to implement a food safety management system, to which McCarthy also pleaded not guilty.

According to their website McCarthy’s Country Store has previously traded at markets across Suffolk including Halesworth, Woodbridge, Sudbury, Beccles, Saxmundham and Bury St Edmunds.

The company also trades further afield at markets in Essex, Kent, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

Magistrates decided that the case could be heard in their court and decided not to progress the case to Ipswich Crown Court.

The case against McCarthy’s Country Store limited will next be heard at the Suffolk Magistrate’s Court on January 13, 2021.

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