EVIDENCE of poor food safety practices and evidence of pests at a supermarket on Slough High Street has been found by food hygiene inspectors. 

Marwa Halal Centre was instructed that major improvements to standards were necessary following the routine inspection by a Slough Borough Council officer on June 28.

A host of issues were identified, including inspectors noting a build-up of waste in the rear yard and food not being kept at the correct temperature.

The Food Standard's Agency said: "There was no evidence of monitoring of the temperature of the display fridges and freezers on the sales floor or the storage chillers/freezers."

Marwa Halal Centre have been told to begin recording and checking temperatures with immediate effect.

Further to this, the inspector reported an open bucket of olives at risk of contamination by flies and other pests.

A food safety report issued by a council officer to the business went on to say that "the yard area at the rear of the premises was congested with recycling waste, general waste," which is likely to encourage pests.

"More frequent removal" of rubbish is advised, which can be organised through a contractor once the backlog has been cleared. 

While pest control treatment was found to be underway: "Rat droppings were seen on the sales floor at the end of the drinks chiller, mouse droppings on the electrical switch box in the service counter area, under the disused freezer, under the display shelves, under the disused display freezer and on the till shelving of the butchery."

It has been advised that thorough cleaning is undertaken to remove mouse droppings must be carried out and frequent checks thereafter.

This will avoid contamination of food, while also assisting in the identification of fresh rodent activity.

The inspector also found missing panels to the front of the building which could allow pigeons access to the void above the ceiling.

It has been advised that the wall panels be replaced.

Fruit flies were also found in two locations, with Marwa Halal Centre being advised to remove damaged and fermenting food to deny fruit flies breeding sites.

Upstairs in the first-floor warehouse, the inspector noted congestion of "disused metal work, old mattress, and other equipment".

The officer gave Marwa Halal Centre a one out of five food hygiene rating, with this outcome published online last month.

An officer from the Food Standard's Agency is due to visit Marwa Halal Centre to check they are meeting legal requirements after taking on board changes.

The officer added: "If at this time you are still not compliant, I will consider formal action against you in line with our enforcement policy.

"This revisit will not result in a new food hygiene rating being given to you."

Marwa Halal Centre next has a chance to increase its food hygiene rating at a routine inspection on December 2023.