HEALTH inspectors found a "copious" amount of rodent droppings on the floor of a Manningham take away - including in pizza boxes that food would be served in.

Mohammed Imran, of Emmerson Avenue, appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court yesterday to answer a raft of food hygiene charges.

He is the owner of Kaykashan Roti House on Carlisle Place, and pleaded guilty to eight charges of failing to comply with EU food safety laws, which had been brought by Bradford Council.

The court heard that when inspectors visited the take away they found evidence of rodent infestations, including droppings close to food preparation areas, staff wearing dirty aprons who had not been properly trained and forged food hygiene certificates displayed on the wall.

Magistrates were shown photos of a dead mouse and rat found in the take away, a pizza box littered with droppings, and filthy conditions.

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They said the case was so serious they did not have the sentencing powers to deal with it, and Imran will appear at Bradford Crown Court next month.

The court heard that on December 6 environmental health officers visited the business at 4pm.

Council prosecutor Harjit Ryatt said: "They found a widespread, uncontrolled mouse infestation at the premises.

"This, in officers' view, posed a serious health issue. Mice and rats can spread potentially life threatening diseases.

"There was a sticky mat found in the food serving area that is used to trap rodents - there was a dead rat and mouse on it.

"There were copious amounts of rodent droppings on the premises. Staff appeared to be aware of rodents and droppings on the premises, but had made no efforts to clean them up prior to the business opening.

"Employees confirmed that while they washed their hands they didn't disinfect work surfaces or utensils - they weren't aware of the need for that. In officers' view it was an immediate risk to public health."

The business was ordered to close. Inspectors were invited back by Imran on December 13, and Mr Ryatt said: "At that time officers notices packaging, drinks cans and bottles that were contaminated with rodent droppings."

Another visit on January 10 found further evidence of mouse droppings. Food was also found to not be properly stored, with "frozen chicken stored at too high a temperature. Mr Ryatt said: "He told officers that Asian style food was generally cooked at a high temperature that will kill off all bacteria."

He said training certificates on display showed that the staff had all been trained to food safety requirements. However, when officers checked with the training company, they revealed that none of the staff had attended any training sessions. He added: "One certificate was genuine but related to a person who did not work at the premises."

Although the businesses was closed following the inspections, the Council has since allowed it to re-open. At it's last inspection in May it was given a 1 food hygiene rating.

Rachel Meller, defending, said Imran had since transformed the business, improving hygiene, and regularly paid for pest control workers to visit the take away. She said he had learned an "invaluable lesson" from his prosecution.

Andrew Rogerson - chair of the bench, said Imran had a "very high" level of culpability adding: "You displayed certificates that were false and you knew to be false - you intentionally breached the law. There was a high risk of adverse effects to individuals, particularly your customers.

"The reduction in standards has taken place over a series of years.

He sent the case to Bradford Crown Court for sentencing, which will take place on September 20.