A cafe owner from Rochester has been fined following a severe mouse infestation.
Terence Morgan, who operates Tiny Tim’s Tea Room, was investigated by Medway Council’s Food and Safety Team following a complaint from a member of the public.
Officers visited the premises in Northgate, Rochester on 8 September 2011, and as a result the cafe had to be closed as an emergency measure because of the serious mouse infestation, which was considered by officers to present a risk to health.
Once the mice had been dealt with, the business was required to install suitable facilities for washing hands and food. However, these requirements were not complied with within the required time period.
Mr Morgan pleaded guilty to four food hygiene offences at Medway Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 29 May to the charges. He was fined a total of £2,000 (£500 per offence) with £1,000 costs.
Chair of the Bench Mrs E Brown said: “These were serious offences and it took a long time to put matters right with risks to the public.”
Portfolio Holder for Community Safety and Customer Contact Cllr Mike O’Brien said: “We work hard to ensure food business operators do not risk the health of the public.
“The council’s food and safety team will continue to work with Tiny Tim’s Tea Room to educate the business. The public can be assured that good food hygiene procedures are in place for future visits.” Meanwhile Tiny Tim’s Tearoom in Rochester is continuing to place false reviews on Trip Advisor!
Food law, inspections and businesses in the food industry
The Food Safety Act 1990 and regulations made under it aim to make sure all food offered to the public is safe to eat and properly described.
Our main role is to help people to produce safe food. Environmental health officers check on food safety and hygiene, while trading standards officers concentrate on food composition and labelling. We inspect any stage of the production, manufacturing, distribution and retail sale of food. We give advice and guidance to the public on issues of food hygiene and the investigation of outbreaks of food poisoning and notifiable diseases.
Officers have the right to enter and inspect food premises at all reasonable hours. They do not have to make an appointment and they will usually come without advance notice. They carry out routine inspections and may also visit as a result of a complaint.
Find out more about inspections and your business on FOOD.GOV.UK:
Make a complaint
If you do not agree with action taken by the inspector, you can make a complaint.
If you think the council is applying the law in a different way from others, you can seek advice from the Local Authorities Co-ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards (LACOTS) either through your trade association or the council. You have the right to appeal at a magistrates court against an improvement notice or a refusal by the council to lift an emergency prohibition order made earlier by the court. A magistrates court must confirm the emergency closure of a business or the seizure of food. If magistrates decide premises have been shut without a good reason or that food has been wrongly seized or detained, you have a right to compensation.