A retailer in Coventry has been fined after rat and mouse activity was discovered on the premises.
Arbaz Ali, company director of FG Retail Ltd, attended Coventry Magistrates Court on Monday and pleaded guilty to offenses under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013.
FG Retail Ltd was fined £4000 and Arbaz was fined £384 and ordered to pay full costs of £2243 as well as a victim surcharge of £154.
A report of poor cleaning and pest proofing practises were found by the council’s Food and Safety team following a complaint from a customer in November 2022.
The customer at the Gosford Street store reported that they witnessed a rat running out from under the bread sales area. In response, two members of the Food and Safety team visited the store on the same day.
The store voluntarily closed whilst improvements were made, and the infestations treated. Once the necessary pest treatment, proofing and cleaning had taken place the premises were allowed to reopen. The owner was invited to attend an interview under caution to explain the conditions found but chose not to attend.
The premises has been subject to follow-up visits by the Council’s food and safety team to check standards have been maintained.
Councillor Abdul Salam Khan deputy leader of Coventry City Council and cabinet member for Policing and Equalities said: “People buying food from retailers in Coventry should expect the food to be free from contamination and safe to eat. This fine sends out a clear message to other businesses that it is their responsibility to undertaken regular cleaning and checks for pests in their business, even if they have a pest control company in place.
“Food hygiene is a serious matter and by this action, the courts have sent out a strong warning that failing to meet food safety standards can result in a substantial fine.”
Davina Blackburn strategic lead for Regulation and Communities in the city said: “We take a staged approach to enforcement wherever possible, however, the conditions found here required immediate action. The closure of the premises until any risk to health was removed is in line with the Council’s priority of ensuring that food produced, prepared or sold in the city is safe to eat and without risks to health.”