A PUB has been fined £2,000 after mouse droppings were found in the kitchen.
A chef appeared before Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Friday after a routine hygiene inspection discovered evidence of an active mouse infestation in the kitchen of the The New Inn, Silver Street, Abthorpe.
Stephen Casemore, 45, pleaded guilty to offences of failing to have adequate procedures in place to control pests and failing to keep the premises clean.
The court heard how a South Northamptonshire Council’s food safety officers visited The New Inn pub to conduct a routine food inspection of the kitchen where Casemore ran his food business.
During the visit officers discovered mouse droppings in the pub’s kitchen which was being used to prepare food for customers.
Droppings were visible on food preparation surfaces, shelves used to store cookery items and in food containers, as well as in cooking equipment such as baking trays, cling film dispensers and on the kitchen floor.
Officers also complained of poor standards of cleanliness.
After the investigation Casemore voluntarily closed the kitchen for one week and hired a pest control company to eradicate the mouse infestation.
Since reopening on February 28, 2012, follow-up visits have confirmed improved hygiene standards are being maintained and the premises currently has a good food hygiene rating.
The investigation and prosecution against Casemore was led by South Northamptonshire Council and Councillor Dermot Bambridge, portfolio holder for environment and waste management.
Cllr Bambridge said: “By preparing and serving food during a mouse infestation, Casemore was putting the health and safety of his customers at risk.
“The council takes any threat to public health incredibly seriously and, as demonstrated by this case, will enforce legal action if necessary.
“By carrying out simple pest control measures and consulting with professionals at an early stage, the pub could have remained free of pests and legal proceedings could have been avoided.”
Casemore was ordered to pay £1,000 for each of the two offences, £3,602.22 costs and £15 victim surcharge.