A snack van owner was serving food in such filthy conditions that even his hygiene safety manual was covered in muck, inspectors have found.
Gary Johnston, owner of Gary’s Snacks in Beckenham, south London, was fined thousands for breaching food and safety hygiene regulations.
Inspectors found that the floor of his van was “soiled with dirt” and he had no hot water supply for washing hands or equipment.
Fridges and freezers in the food van were also discovered to be caked in dirt.
Johnston was handed a fine of £7,530 at Bromley Magistrates’ Court after he pleaded guilty to 15 charges under food and safety hygiene regulations.
The court heard that Johnston had not attended a food hygiene training course since 2003 and had failed to register his business.
He had initially stopped food safety inspectors from entering the van at the Chaffinch Business Park but officers were awarded a warrant.
Food safety staff conducted a second visit accompanied by two police officers.
An inspection on 30 June found he also left wrapping materials next to an open bin, posing a serious risk of contamination.
Kate Lymer, executive councillor for public protection and safety at Bromley Council, said: “We will take action to protect Bromley’s consumers and this prosecution and sentence gives a very strong message that this behaviour will not be tolerated.
“Bromley’s Food Safety Officers routinely inspect some 2000 premises across the borough to ensure that they are well run and that customers are protected from poor hygiene practices.
“They give guidance and training to help businesses improve but will not hesitate to take strong action where they attempt to operate outside the law.”