Fine for company after health officers discover evidence of mouse excrement near food

Jet Garage, Witcham Toll,

Jet Garage, Witcham Toll, - Credit: Archant

The company in charge of a petrol station in Witcham Toll has been fined thousands of pounds after environmental health officers discovered that the premises were infested with mice.

The council said packets of crisps had been gnawed by mice.

The council said packets of crisps had been gnawed by mice. - Credit: Archant

Rozina Ltd pleaded guilty to eight counts of breaching food safety regulations after officers found evidence of rodent contamination at the Jet petrol station, in Ely Road.

Appearing at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court, last Thursday, the company was fined a total of £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,500 court costs and a victims’ surcharge.

The charges related to visits by environmental health officers to the premises in December 2013 and February 2014, following a complaint from a customer.

Maggie Camp, prosecuting for East Cambridgeshire District Council, said evidence of mouse excrement had been discovered near food items and other items showed evidence of having been gnawed by the rodents.

There was evidence of mouse droppings among items of food.

There was evidence of mouse droppings among items of food. - Credit: Archant

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Ms Camp said a number of food safety breaches were discovered at the service station, which included placing food on the market that was unsafe – namely crisps, confectionary and peanuts due to contamination with mouse droppings and urine and failure to ensure that adequate procedures were in place to control pests.

Liz Knox, environmental services manager at the district council, said: “This successful prosecution came about as a result of a customer complaint that the shop had mice.

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“On inspection, our officers found evidence of an uncontrolled mice infestation. They found food which was contaminated by mice which was on sale to the general public – for example, they discovered crisp and peanut packets which had been gnawed and surrounded by mice droppings.

“Anyone running a shop were food is being sold has a responsibility to the public to ensure their hygiene levels are the best they can be. Clearly this was not the case at this establishment.

“Taking this legal action is always a last resort but we are determined to protect public safety and ensure standards are kept high across the district.”

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