​Bakery slammed with eye-watering bill after 'awful' mouse infestation discovered - 'Worst I've ever seen!'

Mouse infestation in Nottinghamshire bakery

Bakery slammed with £21k bill after ‘awful’ mouse infestation discovered - 'Worst I've ever seen!'

Rushcliffe Borough Council
Will Hollis

By Will Hollis

Published: 27/03/2024

- 20:18

Updated: 28/03/2024

- 16:32

Officers found signs of droppings and urine that had contaminated food ingredients and production areas

A bakery has been temporarily closed and left with a £21,000 bill after an investigation found dead and rotting mice which had been ravaging the premises in one of the “worst cases” inspectors had ever seen.

Vale Bakery Ltd, trading as Belvoir Bakery of Langar Road in Barnstone, Nottinghamshire, was discovered to have a widespread infestation leading to the contamination of food storage and preparation areas with droppings and urine.

The Environmental Health Team at Rushcliffe Borough Council inspected the bakery in September 2022 after receiving complaints. It found procedures were not in place to protect the public from ongoing pest activity.

Vale Bakery Ltd pleaded guilty to seven counts of contravening The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday 26th March.

Dead mouse in a bucket

A Rushcliffe bakery that was infested with mice was temporarily closed and left with a £21k bill

Rushcliffe Borough Council

Dozens of mouse droppings on the floor

Dozens of mouse droppings on the floor

Rushcliffe Borough Council

contaminated food ingredients

Officers discovered that ​food ingredients had become contaminated

Rushcliffe Borough Council

It was fined £1,600 and ordered to pay £19,395 costs and a victim surcharge of £640 leaving a total bill of £21,635.

Dave Banks, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Neighbourhoods at Rushcliffe Borough Council, said: “This case showed a total disregard for the bakery’s customers and the wider public’s health as the owners were so brazen and did not take the correct measures to avoid pests entering the premises or containing them.”

The bakery was closed immediately following the investigation and received a zero food hygiene rating.

mouse droppings

An investigation found a Rushcliffe bakery premises was infested with mice

Rushcliffe Borough Council

Mouse droppings foiund in the bakery

Mouse droppings foiund in the bakery

Rushcliffe Borough Council

Banks added: “The conditions of the bakery were frankly awful and we were left with no option but to close it with immediate effect, it’s sadly among the worst cases our officers can recall investigating.”

The bakery has since reopened with improved hygiene standards and was awarded a rating of four.

Dave Banks said: “The court bill sends a very strong and simple message to all food business owners that good compliance makes good business sense and if you place the health of others in jeopardy we will take strong action through the legal channels wherever possible.”

Vale Bakery Ltd said: "We are extremely sorry that our usual impeccable standards momentarily lapsed.

“We can assure our customers that this was an isolated incident that occurred more than a year ago in 2022 when the Bakery was closed for the weekend for a short period due in part to staff changes we immediately rectified the situation.

“We have since employed a new team of conscientious staff who have been fantastic over the past year or so. They are a loyal and dedicated team who take pride in their work and are committed to maintaining our very high standards.

“We have been fully compliant and cooperated fully with inspectors, ensuring that our regular meticulous cleaning rota is maintained, as is regular pest control monitoring. The judge's fine of £1,600 reflects this. She was very sympathetic and understanding as we are a rural business and called it a blip hence the very small fine.

“We did have regular pest control in place and a lot of claims were made in court with no evidence to back them up.

“The court recognised that the risk of harm from the lapse was low and again the low fine handed down reflected this.

“This has been a very stressful period for us as a business and we are extremely grateful to our loyal customers and assure them that we will continue to maintain stringent standards of hygiene that have always been a priority for our business.”

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