TWO men have been fined after inspectors found rusty equipment and filthy conditions in their Bradford pie manufacturing business.

Neil Anderton and Paul Anderton appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court on Tuesday, pleading guilty to a number of food hygiene charges, and were each fined over £2,700.

The charges stem from an inspection of their business, WH & S Anderton and Sons, based at Bowling Court, on November 1 2019.

The business manufactures pork pies, and supplies cafes, shops, pubs and working men’s clubs across Bradford. It produces on average 1,800 pies and pastries a week.

Bradford Council had issued a caution to the business earlier that year due to concerns over cleanliness, and during the November inspection found a number of issues.

A mixer was dirty and badly rusted, walls were dirty and in need of repair, a wash basin was not attached to the water mains and areas of equipment were covered in dirt and mould. They also felt there was a risk that food could easily become contaminated.

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Both Neil Anderton, 59, of Harrogate Terrace, and Paul Anderton, 55, of Botany Avenue, were present at the time of the inspection, and in court both pleaded guilty to six environmental health charges. They told the court they have since dealt with the issues raised during the inspection.

Harjit Ryatt, prosecuting, described some of the equipment in the unit as “filthy” and added: “The structure of the building was in need of some repair.”

He said the inspectors raised concerns that food could be contaminated by dirt, rust, or paint that was flaking off some walls.

Black mould was found on the cover of a ventilation fan.

The court was shown a number of photographs of the dirty conditions.

Inspectors revisited on November 7 and found that the business had undergone a deep clean, although some areas required further cleaning or re-painting.

Mr Ryatt said: “They admitted some equipment was filthy during the visit and said that perhaps, in hindsight, they needed more help during the busy period.”

The defendants told the court that the inspection had coincided with the Bonfire season which, along with Christmas, was the pie manufacturer’s busiest time of year.

They said they had been waiting for the wash basin to be attached when the inspection took place, but pointed out that there were other washing facilities in the unit.

Neil Anderton said: “November is one of our two busiest times. I know it is no excuse, but it was a really busy time.”

Paul Anderton said “We do try our best, but with just two people we can struggle to keep up with it.” The court heard that after working long hours producing pies, they had to do all the cleaning in their spare time.

Presiding Justice Glen Armstead said: “You are a business selling food – it should be clean every single time of day.

“It was a mess because it was the busiest time of year for you. I’m not telling you how to suck eggs, but you could have got help to do cleaning at that time.

“You’re going to have to look at doing something different, doing a better job of what you’re doing.”

He added: “The pictures speak for themselves. These are quite bad offences.” He acknowledged that work had been done to improve conditions in the business, and added: “You need to keep up that standard. You know what will happen if you don’t – you will be back here and it will be much worse.”

Each defendant was fined £333 for each offence, and ordered to pay £720 costs and a £33 surcharge.

It means that each will have to pay £2,751.

After the case Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for healthy people and places, said: “When it comes to food safety and keeping the public safe, there are never any short cuts. Bradford Council will always take action to make sure people get the quality of food they deserve from manufacturers in the District.

“We are always willing to work with business owners to help them achieve these standards, but if people continue to ignore the rules and create serious health risks, we have no choice but to take legal action to protect the public.

“We appreciate the support of the courts in our efforts to keep our residents safe.”