A RODENT-INFESTED butchers and food shop in Slough has been fined thousands of pounds after droppings were found on the premises.

Slough Store and Halal Meat Ltd on the High Street was closed on the spot after the council’s food safety team inspector discovered mouse poo on the floor in several places, on food shelves and packaging.

Droppings were also found in boxes of fresh vegetables which were destined to be sold to customers.

Mouse droppings in chili box

Mouse droppings in chili box

At a hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court on March 26, the inspector visited the store on January 15, 2020, and saw active mouse infestation resulting in actual contamination of food which put the health of the public at risk if they consumed it.

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The business was closed immediately using a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice. This was converted to a Prohibition Order by Slough Magistrates’ Court on January 20, 2020.

The store reopened a few days later once the mice infestation was brought under control and food for sale was no longer at risk of being contaminated.

Mouse droppings on floor

Mouse droppings on floor

During a sentencing hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court the company and the director and food business operator, Wajahat Hussain, was fined £300 for allowing the pest infestation and not making sure the food which was sold was safe.

The business was fined £2,600. In total both were ordered to pay £5,000 costs and a victim surcharge of £380.

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Mr Hussain and the business each admitted two offences for failing to ensure food was protected against any contamination liable to render it unfit for human consumption; and failing to ensure adequate procedures were in place to control pests.

Andrew Clooney, the council’s regulatory services group manager, said: “Swift action had to taken to shut the butchers and shop due to the immediate risk to shoppers who used the store.

“Food shops have a duty to prevent pest infestations to keep their produce safe so customers can purchase and eat it in full confidence.

“If evidence of pests is found action must be taken to remedy it immediately.”