Retailer to pay £60K after multiple food hygiene breaches in Sudbury store

Martin Retail Group LTD have now got to pay £60,000 to Babergh District Council 

Martin Retail Group has been fined more than £60,000 - Credit: Babergh District Council

A national retailer has been fined more than £60,000 after hygiene inspectors discovered a pest infestation and a sewage leak at a Sudbury store. 

Martin Retail Group was sentenced for multiple food hygiene offences at its McColl's store on Market Hill in Sudbury. 

The retail group must now pay a total of £60,000 in addition to £5,589 costs awarded to the council, for the offences which date back to January, 8 2020. 

After a complaint about rats at the Sudbury store, inspectors from Babergh District Council paid a visit. 

On inspection they found evidence of pest infestation, as well as sewage leaking all over the toilet floor. 

Council officers were first called to the store after a complaint about rats

Council officers were first called to the store after a complaint about rats - Credit: Babergh District Council

Following representations made by Babergh District Council's prosecutor David Smithet, Martin Retail Group admitted five charges at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Thursday, April 15. 

The group pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that there were adequate procedures in place to control pests, failing to keep a food premises clean, and failing to ensure that the construction of food premises permitted good food hygiene practices. 

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The company also admitted a failure to ensure that food was protected against any contamination likely to render the food unfit for human consumption, and a failure to ensure that the available flush lavatory was connected to an effective drainage system. 

Council officers found evidence of pest infestation when they visited the Sudbury store

Evidence of a pest infestation was found at the store - Credit: Babergh District Council

Cassandra Clements, assistant director for environment and commercial partnerships at Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, said the conviction "sends a clear message that breaches will not be tolerated". 

“Our officers work hard to keep the public safe when purchasing food or goods, or eating out – so this is another great result," she said. 

"We take a graduated enforcement approach, share intelligence with authorities across the country, and support our businesses with advice and guidance, with prosecution being the last resort.

“This conviction shows the importance of good hygiene practices and sends a clear message that breaches will not be tolerated.

"This vital work ensures our communities are protected and that Babergh remains a place people are proud to live and work.”​

Martin Retail Group has been approached for comment.