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Nursery fined for dirt which left 139 tots sick

PUBLISHED: 17:28 03 June 2009 | UPDATED: 11:27 12 August 2010

OWNERS of a nursery where 139 children were taken ill with salmonella two years ago has been fined £40,000. Bosses of the Cannock House Day Nursery in Hawstead Lane, Orpington, admitted two breaches of health and safety regulations at Croydon Crown Court

OWNERS of a nursery where 139 children were taken ill with salmonella two years ago has been fined £40,000.

Bosses of the Cannock House Day Nursery in Hawstead Lane, Orpington, admitted two breaches of health and safety regulations at Croydon Crown Court last Thursday.

Judge Heather Baucher said it was lucky that nobody had died as a result of the dirty conditions at the nursery where 215 children were on the register.

The private nursery was closed temporarily after the incident in March 2007 and later reopened with new management, according to Bromley council.

The court heard that previously the main kitchen was only equipped with units normally used in an ordinary house and that there had been a need for a lot of money to be spent on improvements.

The kitchen floor was worn and the windows were dirty, as were the work services. The bulk of the cleaning appeared to be carried out by a cleaner in the evenings.

Chopping boards, sinks and mixing bowls should clearly have been cleaned.

Ms Baucher said: "Someone needed to sort something out, and that should have been the directors."

Were it not for the financial state of the company at present - the firm were claiming that they had had a £119,000 loss - Judge Baucher said she would have imposed a heavier fine.

She added: "It was nothing more than good fortune that more children were not hurt. We could have been dealing with a number of fatalities."

The company was ordered to pay £2,929 costs.

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