ss£3,000 fine after health officers find rat infestation during routine visit to the Al-Des takeaway in Maesteg

A rat infestation at a takeaway that left large deposits of droppings and urine over food and packaging has left the owner with a £3,000 fine.

Overflowing bins and holes in the walls, doors and ceiling attracted the rats to the Al-Des takeaway in Maesteg, Bridgend Magistrates’ Court was told.

Owner Shivan Ahmed, who admitted six food hygiene offences, had also failed to remove the droppings or clean the affected areas at his kebab and pizza business.

Appearing before magistrates on Monday Ahmed, 27, who ran the business on Caerau Road, pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that there were adequate procedures to control pests at the premises; namely that the rear door was ill-fitting and was also left open allowing the rats in and that holes to the side of a door, a gap in the floor, holes in the wall and overflowing bins attracted and allowed the rats in.

The court heard there were also “large deposits of rat droppings, which were present in a box containing onions”.

Prosecutors from Bridgend council also said: “There was an active rodent infestation at the premises, resulting in large deposits of rat droppings, which had not been removed or the affected areas adequately cleaned.

“There was food packaging stored in the cellar where there was an active rodent infestation resulting in large deposits of rat droppings and urine.”

Prosecutors also said there was a hole to the right side of the door leading down to the cellar and there was a hole to the ceiling above the disused toilet in the cellar, allowing pests to gain access.

Ahmed, of Caerau Road, Maesteg, was fined £500 for each of the six offences, ordered to pay costs of £2,750 and he was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £300, leaving him with a total bill of £6,050.

A spokesman for Bridgend County Borough Council said: “Our Environmental Health officers identified several serious breaches of food hygiene, including an active rat infestation, during a routine food hygiene inspection of the Al-Des takeaway in Caerau last year.

“The council took immediate action resulting in the operator pleading guilty to six food hygiene offences and the business was closed until the rodent problem was eliminated.

“We are pleased that the courts saw fit to impose a heavy financial punishment as this sends an important message to other food business operators.

“The council takes the issue of food hygiene very seriously and will always seek to work with food business operators to help them improve their food hygiene rating scores.

“However, we will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action where necessary, in order to protect the public.”

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