Sayers the Bakers, which was fined £170,000 last week for 13 breaches of food safety laws at a shop and a café in Liverpool, has told British Baker it plans to appeal the level of the fine.

The charges related to two sites: the Sayers-owned Pound Bakery and Café, in St John’s Shopping Centre in Liverpool city centre, and the Sayers bakery branch in the West Derby suburb of the city.

The court heard staff at the Pound Café had failed to deal with an extensive rodent infestation after a customer contacted Liverpool Council’s environmental health team on 12 February 2016.

The court heard a dead mouse was found behind a freezer in the basement, and the single wash basin provided for staff was blocked by equipment.

When contacted by British Baker, Sayers the Bakers said: “Pound Café in St John’s Shopping Centre, like many other businesses in Liverpool city centre, was unfortunately affected by the considerable amount of construction work taking place in late 2015, early 2016.

“This gave us challenges in relation to mouse infestation as their normal nests were disturbed. Unfortunately, we had an isolated incident in St John’s which should not have occurred.”

It added:  “Health and hygiene are our top priorities and this is the first time we have ever been charged with such an offence.”

Sayers has now invited Liverpool City Council to re-inspect the shop “to back up our thorough audit results”. In addition, it said it was “appealing against the level of the fine”.