The owner of a butchers and convenience store has been fined more than £4,500 after pleading guilty to seven food safety breaches.
Mr Ali Hacim Abdullah, who runs the Al Baraka shop on Granby Street, was fined a total of £3,500, made to pay £1,000 in costs to the council and a £170 victim surcharge.
The Magistrates Court was told that on 7 December 2015, Environmental Health Officers from Liverpool City Council carried out an unannounced routine inspection and found:
The premises was not kept clean and equipment used in the butchers and retail area was dirty
Gaps/holes in the structure of the premises allowed access/entry points for mice
Mice were active in the butchery and retail shop where uncovered foods were prepared, posing a serious risk of contaminating foodstuffs, food preparation surfaces and equipment
Adequate procedures were not in place to control pests, in that a dead mouse and mouse droppings were found throughout the premises
On sale at the time of the inspection was a packet of bread rolls which had been gnawed by mice and was visibly contaminated with mouse droppings
Tiled wall surfaces in the butchery area were defective and could not be effectively cleaned
Floor surfaces in the butchery and by the walk-in chiller were damaged preventing effective cleaning
The findings resulted in the immediate closure of the premises, with the co-operation of the manager, due to the imminent risks to public health.
The inspection in December 2015, followed a previous visit by officers five months earlier (July 2015). During the initial visit, issues regarding cleanliness within the premises had been discussed with Mr. Abdullah, with officers concerned by the general lack of cleanliness throughout the premises. The manager was given guidance and a list of priority actions that should have been implemented as soon as possible. Unfortunately, no improvements were made, yet the business remained in operation for the intervening five months.
Councillor Steve Munby, Cabinet Member for neighbourhoods, said: “Mr Abdullah has received a substantial fine which reflects the seriousness of the charge.
“This case sends out a strong message that substandard hygiene in any food outlet across the city will not be tolerated, and our experienced team of environmental health officers are prepared to prosecute any business who puts their customers at risk.”