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Rat infested coffee shop fined

Tom Wall15/07/2015 - 14:02

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Egg shell were gnawed by rats
Egg shell were gnawed by rats

A filthy coffee shop has been fined £40,000 after EHOs discovered rats had gnawed on eggs and pasta.

Coffea in Thames Street in Windsor was fined for 13 food safety, hygiene and safety offences at Reading magistrates court last week.

Over the course of a two-day inspection EHOs from the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead found that rats had gained entry through ceiling holes and had gnawed eggshells and pasta.

They also discovered rat droppings on storeroom shelves.

The shop’s kitchen areas were dirty, with build-up of grease and food debris, and     the building had internal structural damage to floor and wall tiles and splash guards.

This meant they could not be cleaned and had accumulated dirt.

The food storeroom had a damaged ceiling, meaning dirt and shedding particles could contaminate food.

There was a build-up of grease and dirt was found on window openings in the kitchens, which also failed to prevent the entry of insects.

Food slicing and storing equipment were unclean and cleaning chemicals were stored on food shelves.

EHOs established here were no management systems in place to ensure rodent control, stock rotation, food temperature control or food room maintenance and cleanliness.

Food safety management and pest control documentation had not been used and pest control advice had been ignored.

A spiral staircase used by the staff to carry food to and from kitchens was unlit and had no handrail, presenting health and safety risks to the staff.

The EHOs found there was imminent danger to the health of both customers and staff.

The director of owning company Shabaneh Ltd, Fred Yaghoubi, agreed to voluntarily close the premises.

The notice was lifted seven days later after the officer was satisfied the shop had undergone sufficient improvement and cleaning.

Mr Yaghoubi on behalf of Shabaneh Ltd pleaded guilty to 13 offences.

The magistrates said there had been a serious risk to the public and staff.

After taking into account the early guilty plea and hearing mitigation they imposed sentences of £2,400 fines for each of the 13 offences, plus costs to be paid of £7,900 and a victim surcharge of £120, giving a total of £39,220.

Carwyn Cox, Windsor’s cabinet member for environmental services, said: ‘This is an excellent result. Securing a conviction in environmental health cases is the result of a lot of hard and co-ordinated work but is so important because we are talking about the safety and protection of our residents and visitors. Well done to our commercial services team and Shared Legal Solutions for all their efforts.’

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