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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Ban for Carlisle meat seller who prepared food in 'very dirty' garage

A door-to-door meat seller has been banned from preparing food in his garage after fears over dirt, mice droppings and contamination.

Environmental health officers applied for an emergency prohibition order at Carlisle magistrates’ court following a complaint from the public.

When officers inspected the home of Richard Mark Ferguson, of Priory Nook, Moorhouse Road, they found a “very dirty” garage with a sausage-making machine, exposed food lying around, mice droppings and a “significant risk to public health.” There was no record of where the meat came from.

The court heard how the double garage had a freezer full of meat products, smoked salmon and black puddings, 20 pheasants, venison and lamb cutlets.

Michael Cunningham, an environmental health officer, told the court there was no water in the garage and no sink in which to wash hands.

He said the dirty conditions amounted to “a significant risk to public health”. There were knives in the garage but they couldn’t be washed because there was no water.

The court heard that an interim prohibition order was served on Mr Ferguson last Wednesday, forbidding him to use the address for any food preparation business. He was told of yesterday’s court hearing but did not attend.

Mr Cunningham said there was no hygiene certificate for the address and it was not registered as a butchery business. He said there was a small farm attached to the house with around 18 sheep.

After a 30-minute hearing, the court agreed to the prohibition order with the magistrates ruling there was an “imminent risk of injury to health because of the state and condition of Priory Nook.”

If the order is flouted, Mr Ferguson could face a jail term of up to two years.

The meat in the garage will be destroyed.

A council spokeswoman said the order would stay in place until the Environmental Health department was satisfied that the imminent risk of injury of health has been removed.

She said that may be done either by registering as a food business or by demonstrating that a food business was not being run in the premises.

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