A Birmingham food retailer, which pleaded guilty to three offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2008, was ordered to pay £2,600 at Birmingham Magistrates Court today (16 April 2015).
Spiceland Frozen Foods Ltd, based at 305 Birchfield Road, Perry Barr, was fined £1,800 and ordered pay £800 towards court costs.
Birmingham City Council brought a case against the company after officers found two dead mice, plus evidence of active mice and churchyard beetle infestations, during a routine inspection on 18 March 2014.
Mark Croxford, Head of Environmental Health for Birmingham City Council, said: “Environmental health officers inspecting Spiceland Frozen Foods Ltd on 18 March 2014 found two dead mice and products contaminated by their faeces and urine, due to an infestation in the store room. The affected area of the premises was closed as this rodent activity presented an imminent risk to public health.
“Mice had gnawed at pre-packed food products and mouse excrement was found throughout the first floor of the shop – all of the affected products were disposed of. Mouse faeces and urine carry numerous bacteria which can lead to food poisoning if consumed.
“Spiceland Frozen Foods Ltd had already been advised of the infestation, by their own pest control company but had failed to take remedial action. Since the first inspection Environmental Health has ensured the infestation was eradicated plus all cleaning and remedial steps that were necessary were carried to protect the public. Officers returned to the business on 21 March 2014 and the premises was allowed to re-open.”
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Note to editors:
Churchyard beetles are not considered a public health pest, but this is an indication of the failure to pest proof a building effectively.
Pictures are available on request.