Popular fast food chain KFC has become the latest food business to be hit by a financial penalty relating to a series of food hygiene offences that it committed at one of its restaurants in Wales.
The company has been fined £2,600 for hygiene failures that were uncovered at its eatery in Blackwood, reports the Caerphilly Observer. It was prosecuted by Caerphilly County Borough Council's Environmental Health Officers after they found a number of issues that required urgent attention.
An investigation was conducted by the environmental chiefs in September last year after several customer complaints had initially raised the alarm over the restaurant.
KFC has now pleaded guilty to two offences of breaching Food Safety legislation during a recent appearance at Abergavenny Magistrates' Court. It was given a £2,600 fine and also told it must meet the prosecution costs of £859 and pay a £15 victim surcharge.
Each of the offences the business pleaded guilty to fall under the Food Hygiene (Wales) Regulations 2006 and are taken seriously by authorities. They related to failing to maintain the food areas and failing to effectively manage the refuse store while keeping it clean.
Simply investing in the latest cleaning products and training staff to use them to their best potential might be a key step on the way to such businesses overcoming hygiene concerns.
Councillor David Poole, cabinet member for community and leisure services, explained: "Our team of officers work tirelessly to promote the importance of food businesses complying with food hygiene and associated legislation, but if businesses choose to ignore our advice and do not take appropriate steps to protect the safety of their customers, we will not hesitate to take formal action through the courts, as we have done in this particular case."
KFC's plight in Blackwood could serve as a useful reminder to other firms around the UK that popularity and reputation are no barrier to prosecution for poor hygiene.