Merton Council makes mincemeat of unhealthy butcher

Merton Council has successfully convicted one of the borough’s wholesale butchers for causing potential health hazards.

Owner of Only Fresh Wholesale Butchers at 237 Streatham Road, Thamothirampillai Christopher, pleaded guilty to four offences at Wimbledon Magistrate’s Court. He was fined £4,800 and ordered to pay the council’s full costs of £1,475.

Neighbouring businesses alerted the council to the condition of the premises, complaining about the poorly stored refuse at the back of the butcher shop which was causing hygiene problems. Merton’s environmental health officers visited the premises a number of times between May and December 2008 repeatedly warning the owner of the consequence of not cleaning up their act. The officers noted poor storage of refuse, a lack of hot water to the wash basin, damaged and dirty cutting boards for the meat and fish, blood splattered walls to the chill rooms and a dangerous gas flue with a vent into a workroom. Despite many warnings from the council, Mr Christopher failed to improve the premises to a satisfactory standard.

The owner has now closed the business.

Merton Council Cabinet member for environment and leisure services Councillor David Simpson said: ‘We continue to put the needs of our residents first. Their health and wellbeing is a priority in everything we do, and we will not have businesses in the borough which jeopardise their quality of life. We will be working with the new owner of the premises to ensure the highest standards of food hygiene are being maintained.’