Mouse dirt and mould found at Lidget Green frozen snacks firm

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A dirty food storage area A dirty food storage area

Mouse droppings, a mouldy sink and no hot running water were among the conditions found at a Bradford manufacturer and wholesaler of frozen Asian snacks, a court heard yesterday.

Dirty walls, floors and cooking equipment were also evident at Shaikh’s Quality Foods in Spencer Road, Lidget Green, Bradford and Keighley magistrates were told.

The company, which pleaded guilty to ten breaches of food hygiene regulations, was fined £2,200 and ordered to pay almost £3,000 in costs.

Tracy Buchanan, an environmental health officer for Bradford Council, said that during a routine inspection of the factory in March this year she was forced to hand out a remedial action notice, temporarily suspending trading, due to a lack of hot running water for staff to wash their hands and clean utensils.

Further inspection found evidence the company’s food-safety management system was inadequate.

Other charges related to dirty walls, floors, work surfaces, tap seals and cooking equipment.

There was unhygienic labelling of food, pools of dirty water in the chiller, a mouldy sink and mice droppings in the factory.

Company director Sadik Shaikh was not wearing a protective beard snood in high-risk food-protection areas.

Miss Buchanan described overall conditions as “totally unacceptable”.

After another visit to the premises on March 14, the company was called in for a formal interview with environmental health officers as it remained “unfamiliar” with its agreed food-safety plan, Miss Buchanan said.

A follow-up inspection by environmental health on May 5 found the premises to be in a satisfactory condition, she added.

In mitigation, Shaikh told the court: “I have done everything in my capacity to sort the problems out.

“I tried my best to amend the hazards but was under too much pressure at the time.”

When sentenced, Shaikh told magistrates the financial penalty would put the company out of business.

After the case, Councillor Andrew Thornton, the executive member for environment, said: “Manufacturers who do not operate hygiene processes at their premises will not be allowed to put the public health at risk.

“We are glad the courts take these offences as seriously as we do.

“Our environmental health officers will continue working to ensure that food made, processed, cooked and served to customers in the Bradford district is safe for people to eat.”

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