A fruit and vegetable store has been fined over its filthy premises found to have rodents and poor practices.

Adams Fruits Limited, owner of Adam’s Fruit & Veg, 283 High Street, Slough, pleaded guilty to nine offences after a trading standards visit.

Officers found the owner had failed to keep the premises clear and listed a series of other offences including not ensuring raw materials were stored at the premises to protect them from contamination.

The walk-in chiller was found to be disorganised, with raw meats being close to ready-to-eat fruit and vegetables, such as berries. The raw meats and the fruit, vegetables and herbs were not sufficiently segregated, posing a high risk of contamination.

Staff facilities were found to be inadequate with washbasins for cleaning hands found to be unclean and with no hot water and means of hygienic drying

Owners had not put any pest control procedures into place and mouse droppings were found at various parts of the premises, including on shelves, in a box displaying walnuts, on a plastic container of dates and a packet of tortillas, near the butchery display counter.

Trading Standards continued the list of offences stating the rear door was dirty with a hole found at the bottom, the door to the walk-in chiller was filthy, with traces of blood and the WC basin was dirty, causing concerns of cross-contamination.

The top of a dirty chest freezer was being used with cardboard on top for a cutting surface for watermelon, which officers said could not be cleaned and would attract moisture, allowing bacteria to grow.

A chest freezer full of products (meat/fish) was defrosted and emitting an unpleasant odour, and the bottom of the freezer contained liquid drippings from the bags, including blood.

There were no regular cleaning schedules of hand contact points to avoid cross-contamination, no schedules to check temperatures on chillers and freezers to ensure they were at the right level and staff were not demonstrating good standards of personal hygiene.

These offences relate to poor standards found in November 2022 and June 2023.

The premises was formally closed on November 17, 2022, due to a health risk condition.

Significant improvements were made and it was allowed to re-open on November 18, 2022.

It took several visits for standards to improve sufficiently.

The premises was visited again in June 2023, where standards were found to be very poor again, and further enforcement was taken by the Food & Safety Team. 

Adam’s Fruit & Veg has been fined £32,000 for its failures and continues to operate after working with Slough Borough Council's Trading Standards Team.

Ann Stewart, food & safety professional, Slough Borough Council, said: “We will support businesses in achieving compliance, however when a business presents a risk to public health and do not improve after we have asked them to, we have no option other than to take enforcement action.

"We hope that this business and other businesses in Slough will learn and ensure satisfactory food safety controls are in place at all times to protect Slough residents and visitors.”