Cafe prosecuted for breaching food safety and hygiene regulations

Date published: 20 January 2021

Evidence of mouse droppings, dirty cooking equipment, poor cleanliness and accumulations of grease led to the successful prosecution of an Oldham food business during a recent Tameside Magistrates’ Court case.

Scoff Catering Ltd, trading as The Café, at 106a Huddersfield Road in Oldham, were found in breach of The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations following a food inspection in September, 2019.

During the inspection the Officers uncovered an accumulation of mouse droppings and poor maintenance of equipment used to prepare food served to the public.

Mouse droppings were found on kitchen flooring, on shelving in the pot wash area, on teatowels, grease proof paper, on shelving next to the equipment, near food containers and on the floor in the storage room.

Dirt and grease was also found throughout the premises on the walls, below the fryers, on stainless steel tables and the shelving brackets.

There was also a hole in the tiles at a low level that had not been pest proofed, which would have contributed to the infestation.

On January 14, 2021 Scoff Catering Ltd pleaded guilty to all offences under the Food and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

The company was fined £612 for both counts (£140 per offence), including a victim surge charge of £32 and contribution costs totalling £300.

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Culture, said: “Food hygiene laws must be taken very seriously and we, as a council, are doing everything we can to ensure every business in our borough complies with these regulations.

"This is not only to keep in line with government regulations, but also to protect our residents from premises with poor hygiene procedures.

“We will continue to take action against this small minority to ensure that they make the necessary changes to keep their premises clean and well maintained in accordance with the law.

“We’d like to remind food businesses that they need to keep their premises clean and not wait until our officers have visited to make the necessary changes.”

All food businesses 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 a zero for those premises that need to improve urgently.

It is voluntary for the business to display their rating, but consumers can check a food business rating on the Food Standards Agency website:

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