A bakery has been fined £28,000 after mice and cockroach infestations were discovered at two London branches. 

Snaresbrook Crown Court handed out the verdict to Bension Nassim, director of Sharon’s Bakery UK, and Shuki Mozes, general manager of Sharon’s Bakery and Sharon’s Bakery UK, who were issued with a combined fine of £8,000. Costs of £20,000 were awarded to Hackney Council.

Two branches at Stamford Hill and Woodberry Down, both in Hackney, were closed immediately by Hackney Council environmental health officers after unannounced visits in June and July 2013 found “widespread evidence” of mice and cockroaches.

After carrying out pest treatment and proofing and other work, both branches soon reopened.

Second outbreak

In November 2014 evidence of mice and cockroaches was found again at the Stamford Hill branch, with a further notice served for failure to control pests. Follow-up inspections continue to be carried out regularly. The Stamford Hill branch continues to trade with a Food Hygiene Rating System rating of one, while Woodberry Down achieved a four on the zero to five scale used by the Food Standards Agency.

Sophie Linden, deputy mayor of Hackney Council, said: “When we buy food from a shop, we need to be confident that it is being prepared and kept in a clean and safe place. Sharon’s Bakery failed to meet hygiene standards on more than one occasion and we were left with no option, but to take legal action.

“The environmental health team will continue to work with the owners and staff at the bakery to ensure they meet the required standards of cleanliness and hygiene in the future.

“Unannounced spot checks are carried out across Hackney, and the council will not hesitate to close down any premises that risks contaminating food or poses a risk to people’s health.