A Wiltshire business has been fined £18,000 after pleading guilty to seven offences under food safety legislation.

Chippenham Magistrates Court heard that environmental health officers from Wiltshire Council visited Sandridge Farmhouse Bacon Ltd in Bromham on December 17 2009 to undertake a routine inspection of the bacon manufacturing operation.

The officers found the company had started cooking and selling hams at the premises. A subsequent inspection of the ham production area found problems with cleaning and food safety management, including structural defects and poorly maintained equipment.

Remedial Action Notices were served requiring them to stop the production and sale of cooked meats at the premises. The company agreed to voluntarily surrender all the hams on site because they had not been produced in accordance with the relevant food safety legislation.

Sandridge Farmhouse Bacon Ltd and the managing director, Roger Keen, pleaded guilty to all seven charges brought by Wiltshire Council, which were:

Failure to ensure the council had up-to-date information about the business and its operations

Failure to have in place a food safety management system

Failure to ensure the design and construction of the premises helped protect against the formation of condensation and mould on surfaces

Failure to ensure the premises was kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition

Three counts of failing to ensure that surfaces (including the surfaces of equipment) in areas where foods were handled were in a sound condition and easy to clean and disinfect.

In addition to the fine, Mr Keen and Sandridge Farmhouse Bacon Ltd were ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and a £15 victim surcharge.

Councillor Keith Humphries, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “This was a deliberate attempt by the business to supply food for the festive season which was produced in unsatisfactory conditions. I commend the food safety officers for their prompt action in removing the food from sale and safeguarding public health.”

Since the inspection last December standards at the premises have greatly improved and they are now able to resume ham production.