A rat infested food shop that was ordered to close its doors by health inspectors has been fined more than £5,000.
Magistrates ruled that the Brox General Store on Broxholme Lane in Wheatley posed a “very high risk to the general public” at a hearing on October 20.
When the premises were inspected in November last year it was found to be in a filthy condition with evidence of rats discovered throughout the shop, rear lobby area and cellar.
There were also issues with pest proofing in the shop.
Given the risk to public health, the premises was immediately closed after the inspection on November 2013.
The business was ordered to remove all signs of the activity, carry out general structural repairs and clean and disinfect all areas.
The shop eventually reopened later that month when environmental health officers were satisfied that the business no longer posed any further risk to public health.
At a hearing at Doncaster Magistrate’s Court on October 20 the owner, Mr Galib Hussain pleaded guilty to seven food hygiene offences. Hussain was fined a total of £4,500 along with an order to pay full prosecution costs of £864 and a £120 victim surcharge.
The bench highlighted that the conditions posed a ‘very high risk to the general public’ and that the offences were ‘very serious.’
Councillor Joe Blackham, Cabinet Member for Enforcement, said the ruling sent out a clear message to food business owners.
He added: “Rats present a serious risk to health in food premises and it is vital that all Doncaster’s food businesses are kept free of such pests.
“Food business owners have a legal duty to keep their premises hygienic and free of pests and any failure to do so will be met with swift action by the council.
“The significant fine imposed by the court reflects the severity of the offence and the need to protect the health of Doncaster’s residents and visitors.”