A popular Birmingham restaurant has been ordered to pay more than £14,000 after admitting five offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court today (September 17).
Bar Estilo, on Wharfside Street, in The Mailbox, was fined £12,500 and ordered to pay £2,145 in costs, to be paid within 28 days.
Birmingham City Council prosecuted PR Entertainments Limited, which operates Bar Estilo, after environmental health officers visiting the Spanish tapas bar on 20 October 2014 found evidence of mouse activity throughout the premises.
As well as finding mouse droppings in the restaurant’s bar, kitchen (including walk-in chiller), bin storage and pot wash areas, they also found food was exposed to risk of contamination and a lack of effective cleaning.
A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice, schedule of works and an application for a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order were issued and the premises was closed on 20 October 2014 as there was deemed to be an imminent risk to public health.
Officers returned to Bar Estilo on 21 October 2014, when they found two mice had been caught in the bar area overnight. However after a second revisit on 22 October 2014, officers found all remedial works has been completed, and the restaurant was allowed to reopen to the public.
Cllr Barbara Dring, Chair of the city council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “Officers inspecting Bar Estilo, in The Mailbox, on 20 October 2014 found mouse droppings throughout the premises as well as dirty conditions in the kitchen and food at risk of contamination.
“The restaurant’s owners managed to rectify the issues identified by our officers, by bringing in pest control and conducting a thorough deep-clean of the premises.
“Bar Estilo is a very popular destination for diners, who would not expect the cleanliness of the kitchen to be questioned, but this case shows even the most reputable or popular restaurants can have sub-standard practices.”
Bar Estilo employed a pest control contractor, but following this incident, the restaurant has employed a second contractor and also carry out their own in-house checks.
Following a routine, unannounced inspection on 13 April 2015 by environmental health officers, Bar Estilo was given Food Hygiene Rating of 5, which rates the premises as very good.
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