Dead rat found in Blackpool chip shop as rodents fed on potatoes before it was closed down

Rat droppings in filthy chippy in Blackpool
Rat droppings were found in the filthy chippy in Blackpool. Credit: Lancs Live/MEN Media

A fish and chip restaurant in Blackpool has been shut down for urgent work after it was infested with rodents and posed 'an imminent risk to health'.

Inspectors found a dead rat at Mickey Finns on Central Drive and a 'large amount of rat droppings' in the basement which was being used for food storage and preparation. 

Food business operator, Joginder Paul has now been banned by magistrates from being involved in the management of a food business after he failed to take "heed of multiple warnings to improve".

Mickey Finns chip shop in Blackpool, which has now re-opened under new management Credit: Lancs Live/ MEN Media

Blackpool Council’s Food Control Officers visited the premises on 17 March 2022 and said potatoes were found on the floor of the basement, offering a food source to the vermin.

Damage was also found to the fabric of the building, giving points of access to the rodents, while a waste pipe to the toilet facilities in the basement was also not capped correctly allowing for access through the drainage system.

It also resulted in 'foul sewage smells' entering the basement.

Blackpool Magistrates Court heard how inspecting officers found a dead rat behind a freezer to the ground floor service area.

The business was closed down immediately after officers deemed there was an 'imminent risk to health'.

An application was then made to the court for an emergency prohibition order to keep the food business closed until officers were satisfied that the health risk no longer existed.

Mickey Finns was given permission to reopen on 31 March following 'extensive maintenance work' to the basement and 'multiple visits' from a pest control contractor.

Potato on the filthy floor in the chippy on West Drive, now under new management Credit: Lancs Live / MEN Media

Joginder Paul attended Blackpool Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to seven food hygiene offences on 7 December.

He was fined £1,314, ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a £130 victim surcharge.

Magistrates also made an order under food safety legislation, prohibiting the 48-year-old from being involved in the management a food business.

The council said Paul had received 'multiple warnings' over the years, but failed to act on them.

Cllr Neal Brookes, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member with responsibilities for Public Safety and Enforcement, said:

"We are pleased that this case was successfully prosecuted for food hygiene offences. Blackpool Council will not tolerate such a blatant lack of regard for the safety of its residents and visitors, and the sentence awarded is reflective of that."