A North London supermarket has been fined £78,000 after hygiene inspectors discovered rotting dead rats and mice as well as their droppings all over the store and a fly infestation.
Yasar Halim Supermarket, at 2B Hedge Lane, Southgate, is a large, continental-style supermarket with an open cooked food area, a bakery, a butcher’s counter and supermarket area with pre-packed foods, open containers of olives and fruit and vegetables.
Its owner owner Mehmet Yasar Halim received several visits and warnings from council Environmental Officers to address food safety and pest control concerns, but these were ignored leading to an investigation
At Highbury Corner Magistrates Court the company was fined £48,000 with Mr Halim also ordered to pay £26,000 in individual fines, a £190 victim surcharge, and the Council’s costs totalling £4,400.62. This brings the full set of fines to £78,590.62.
Mr Halim was found guilty of not having a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP), which is a way of managing food safety hazards, no control over pests and no protection against contamination.
After council visits the supermarket was given a detailed report from the council on the improvements that needed to be made to, however both rat and fly infestations including droppings were still obvious during follow up visits from officers.
This included a dead mouse on a sticky trap in a food preparation area as well as a dead rat in the store's warehouse, with rat droppings found on the shop floor.
Inspectors also found that food preparation areas weren't clean and staff preparing food weren't washing their hands between tasks with soap for hand washing not provided.
An Enfield Council spokesperson said: “Swift action taken by the Council’s Environmental Health officers in this case was imperative, as the premises and its owner posed a significant risk to public health.
“Repeat visits to Yasar Halim by Council officers and warnings issued to clean and make the necessary repairs were ignored on several occasions.
“We would strongly encourage owners of premises selling and serving food in the borough to ensure they follow mandatory guidance for keeping their premises clean, follow essential hygiene rules and to ensure their staff are fully trained in food hygiene procedures.”
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