Rat infestation lands £180k fine for food supplier

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

East End Foods has been fined £180k for a rat infestation
East End Foods has been fined £180k for a rat infestation

Related tags: Food

Indian cuisine supplier East End Foods has been fined £180,000 for food safety offences, after an infestation of rats was discovered at one of its warehouses in Birmingham.

During a visit on 16 January last year, environmental health officers found rat droppings throughout both floors of the building, plus evidence of gnawed food and packaging.

Inspectors also found that cleaning at the premises was poor, and discovered yogurt past its use-by date.

A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice, a schedule of work necessary to be carried out to remove imminent risk of injury to health and an application for a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order were served on East End Foods.

The premises was revisited twice on 19 and 23 January 2017 and was allowed to reopen after inspectors were satisfied that the company had taken steps to improve conditions at the warehouse. The site has since closed.

Pleaded guilty

East End Foods pleaded guilty to three offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 during a hearing at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 4 January this year.

The offences included a failure to put adequate procedures in place to control pests and a failure to ensure food premises were kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition.

The company had also failed to ensure that at all stages of production, processing and the distribution of food were protected against contamination, which was likely to render the food unfit for human consumption.

East End Foods was fined £180,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,453.30, plus a £170 victim surcharge, at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 1 March 2018.

​Not in accordance with usual standards’

An East End Foods spokesman said: “The company regrets that the conditions at the former wholesale unit were not in accordance with its usual high standards.  The company has fully cooperated with the Council.

“The case did not concern any of the company’s food processing facilities, which continue to operate to the very highest standards of quality and cleanliness.”

A rat infestation also forced sandwich manufacturer CK Foods in Bedale, North Yorkshire – trading as Country Kitchens – to close part of its factory for three days last month.

Meanwhile, food manufacturers face a new generation of mutant rats resistant to conventional poison,​ according to the British Pest Control Association.

Related topics: Legal, Hygiene, safety & cleaning

Related news

Show more

Related products

Listeria Management & Drainage: 5 Essential Steps

Listeria Management & Drainage: 5 Essential Steps

Aco Building Drainage | 26-Apr-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Listeria is widely recognised as a universal problem for food and drink manufacturers. To ensure effective listeria management and control, food and drink...

Hygienic design boosts quality and safety

Hygienic design boosts quality and safety

Minebea Intec | 16-Aug-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Avoiding food contamination and increasing product safety are key objectives of all food producers. It is critical to prevent any type of contamination...

Adulteration-and-contamination-white-paper

Adulteration versus contamination, protecting our food

Fera Science Ltd. | 30-Oct-2017 | Technical / White Paper

Adulteration affects the confidence of the public as well as business. Meat products are one of the most commonly adulterated foods – we review the challenges...

With a summer of food scares – be better informed

With a summer of food scares – be better informed

Fera Science Ltd. | 23-Oct-2017 | Technical / White Paper

Recalls and supply chain visibility are big issues right now with a summer of food scares - make sure you have the vital tools to ensure your food defence...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars