A MICE-INFESTED store has been fined £7,000 for after a damning inspection revealed a catalogue of hygiene problems.

Barkat Food Store Bolton Limited in Derby Street, Daubhill, was forced to close temporarily to make improvements after the inspection by public health officials.

Bolton Council’s food control unit found mouse droppings on apples, beetroot and other foods.

They also found the business was failing to control pests as there were gaps where pipework came into the rear storage area and cellar.

The failings were discovered on January 10 last year.

The shop was ordered to close after Bolton magistrates served a hygiene prohibition notice following a request from Bolton Council workers.

It reopened on February 7 after another visit from inspectors.

Further failings were found at the store’s warehouse in Wadesworth Industrial Estate in High Street, Daubhill, following an inspection on January 28.

Rodents had gnawed at packets of pasta, crushed chillies and rice.

The firm had also failed to control pests at the warehouse as there were gaps in the roller shutter door and other places.

The warehouse was also closed temporarily for major improvements to be carried out.

Barkat Food Store Bolton Limited pleaded guilty to seven charges at Bolton Magistrates Court:

  • Two counts of failing to ensure premises were constructed to allow good food hygiene practices.
  • Two counts of failing to ensure procedures were in place to control pests.
  • Failing to ensure food was protected from being contaminated.
  • Placing on the market food that was unsafe due to contamination from mouse faeces
  • Placing food on the market that had been gnawed by rats.

Magistrates fined the company £7,000, ordered it to pay £2,000 costs to Bolton Council and pay a £100 victim surcharge.

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The sentencing comes after a tonne of food had to be destroyed at the business because it was packaged in a warehouse infested with pigeons.

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A Bolton Council spokesman said: “Our food team works with businesses to achieve high standards of food hygiene in food businesses throughout the borough and is willing to offer advice and guidance to food business operators.

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“However, where there is a serious risk to health, officers will take appropriate enforcement action to protect the public.”

No-one from Barkat Food Store was available to comment.

  • See our list of Bolton's 'least hygienic' restaurants and takeaways here.

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