Oldham Council has successfully prosecuted a catering company for poor standards of cleanliness.
In February this year Environmental Health Officers carried out a routine food hygiene inspection at a facility run by Catering Academy Limited at Oldham College, Rochdale Road.
Mouse droppings were discovered throughout the kitchen, on and amongst equipment and in food storage areas. Two dead mice were found on a glue board underneath a fridge.
The floor underneath equipment was engrained with dirt and scattered with debris and the pillar to the side of the fryer was coated in grease.
The facility was given a zero food hygiene rating at that time.
On December 20, at Tameside Magistrates’ Court, the firm pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to comply with Annex II, Chapter I, Article 1 of EU Regulation 852/2004 which requires that food premises are to be kept clean.
The company was fined £20,000, with costs of £1,550 plus a victim surcharge of £170
Councillor Arooj Shah, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “Whatever scale your business operates at, large or small, it is vital that you maintain high standards of cleanliness.
“If standards drop you are potentially putting the health of people at risk, which is not acceptable and we will take action.”
All food businesses inspected by the council are given a rating based on their compliance with the legal requirements for hygiene, structural condition and confidence in the management.
Following a food hygiene inspection a business is rated from five for a very good through to zero for those premises that need to improve urgently.
It is voluntary for the businesses to display the rating but gives the consumer an indication of its overall level of food hygiene compliance.
All Oldham food business ratings are on the Food Standards Agency website http://ratings.food.gov.uk/QuickSearch.aspx
Consumers are urged to check food hygiene ratings before they eat out or order meals online.