INSPECTORS found a catalogue of hygiene breaches at a Northampton shop, including dirty fridges, out-of-date milk on sale, and mouse droppings in bags of food, a court heard.
An inspection at Kenya Halal Butchers, in Wellingborough Road, in January 2008, found packaging that had been gnawed by rodents, mouse droppings inside bags of maize, dirty kitchen utensils, cultured milk on sale that was more than six weeks out of date, and dirty floors, fridges, storage cabinets and food preparation surfaces.
Co-owner Mohammed Ayub, aged 66, of Berkeley Avenue, in Greater London, appeared before magistrates in Wellingborough yesterday and pleaded guilty to six charges of breaching food safety and environmental health regulations, including failing to comply with a hygiene improvement notice served by Northampton Borough Council in September 2007. He was fined £1,320.
His son, fellow owner Mohammed Shazan, was fined £2,500 in August 2008 for similar offences.
Umar Azmeh, mitigating, said Ayub had previously owned two successful butchers’ shops outside the county.
He said Ayub had left the day-to-day running of the business to Shazan and had been “shocked” to see the state it had fallen into.
He described Ayub as having put “misplaced trust” in his son and said the pair had not spoken since the incidents in January 2008.
Magistrates fined Ayub a total of £1,320 and ordered him to pay £500 towards court costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
Chairman of the bench Diana Whittaker said: “There was a potential risk to the health of the customers.”
A spokesman for Northampton Borough Council said: “We take any breach of health and safety seriously and will continue to take action against any premises that fail in their duty to their customers.
“We always try to work with businesses to help them and promote high standards in hygiene and food safety. Unfortunately in a small number of cases we are left with no option but to take legal action.”