ROUTINE inspection revealed serious violations of food safety rules and evidence of mice infesting a local café serving food to the public and staff at a Manchester car auction centre.

On the 26 July 2016 officers from Manchester City Council’s Environmental Health team carried out a routine food inspection upon visiting the premises, revealing evidence of mouse activity and inadequate cleaning of food preparation and serving areas.

Mouse faeces were discovered in servery areas, in the tea bar and main kitchen area – both under and at the rear of equipment and along the floor as well as wall junctions.

A dead mouse was found on a trap in a food service area.

Expedier Catering Ltd, who run catering facilities at the British Car Auctions, on Redgate Lane in Ardwick, appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 5 October 2017, pleading guilty to two offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulation 2013.

The company was fined more than £30 000 for the offence broken down into £14 000 for each of the two food safety offences and order to pay costs of £3207.83 with a victim surcharge of £170.

Mouse droppings in main kitchen
Mouse droppings in main kitchen

Expedier Catering Ltd agreed to voluntarily close the food business until the infestation was under control and until the cleaning standards and food safety practices saw improvement.

The food premises was not allowed to reopen until 1 August 2017, when officers confirmed the pest infestation was under control and the food safety practices and procedures were in place.

The company has since improved standards and currently has a level 5 Food Hygiene rating.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “It is vital that all food business maintain the very highest standards, failure to do so can put members of the public at serious risk.

“Violations of Food Safety and Hygiene regulations are not trivial matters and we use all the powers at our disposal to pursue those who flout the rules.

“The disregard for basic cleanliness in this case is beyond the pale – a fact that is reflected in the severity of the fine.”

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