Lancashire bakery fined £10,000 for mouse droppings

A bakery in Fleetwood has pleaded guilty to three offences under food safety and hygiene legislation after mouse droppings were found on the premises.

The Home Bakery in Blakiston Street, Fleetwood, was fined £10,000 last week and ordered to pay more than £1,500 in costs following a prosecution by Wyre Council.

Mary Grimshaw, prosecuting for the council, said the retail premises were inspected twice in three months during 2016.

After the first inspection the outlet was given a ‘two’ rating, which advised work needed to be carried out.

Owner Michael Reaper asked for the rating to be looked at again, but on the second inspection health officers found conditions to be worse rather than better, Blackpool magistrates heard.

Mouse droppings were found on pie trays and in a display cabinet, there was dirty equipment at the shop and one storeroom had holes in the ceiling and mould on the walls. Floor surfaces were also dirty and the prosecutor said: “There was a failure to do effective cleaning and hygiene checks.”

Officers carried out checks on food temperatures and meat was found at 13.3°C when it should be stored no higher than 8°C.

It was decided there was an imminent risk to public health, magistrates heard, and the premises were temporarily closed on a voluntary basis.

Reaper was interviewed under caution, during which he admitted he thought it was difficult to ask his elderly female members of staff to get on their hands and knees and clean under surfaces and equipment.

Magistrates fined Home Bakery £10,000, and ordered it to pay £1,558 costs and £170 victims’ surcharge.

After the hearing, Councillor Vivien Taylor, cabinet member with responsibility for food hygiene at Wyre Council, said: “Wyre Council takes food hygiene very seriously and if premises don’t comply, we will take action whenever and wherever necessary.”

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