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Monday, April 22, 2024

Southall Cash & Carry hit with £27,000 fine for rodent droppings near food.

A cash and carry in Southall has been handed a hefty fine after rodent droppings were found on shelves next to food

A cash and carry in Southall has been handed a hefty fine after rodent droppings were found on shelves next to food. The owners and manager of Sira Cash & Carry, at 43 South Road, have been issued with more than £27,000 due to an investigation by Ealing  Council’s food safety team.

Repeated failure by the store to adhere to food hygiene standards means that it has been inspected eight times since 2009 never receiving higher than a 2 out of 5  (which means ‘improvement necessary’), with 2 inspections – including the most recent – resulting in a 0 rating. Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court heard that at the most recent inspection, officers encountered very poor standards, with pest activity found throughout the premises – including rodent droppings on shelving next to food on the shop floor and in the warehouse.

Despite being issued multiple warnings over the years, the council found that the business’s ownership had not implemented adequate measures to control the pest problem. Other hygiene issues also showed little sign of improvement.

At the magistrates’ hearing, business owner Streamquote Limited and the manager of the company, Ms Kuljit Chagger, were found guilty of food hygiene offences and were ordered to pay more than £28,000. This consisted of fines of £26,400 for Streamquote Limited and £984 for Ms Chagger, and the council’s court costs of £1,610.

Cllr Louise Brett. Image: Ealing Council

The business appealed the magistrates’ sentencing decision on 2 February 2024, however, this was refused. Cllr Louise Brett, the council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “Rodent infestations in food businesses put people at a very real risk of sickness. I am very pleased that the court recognised the seriousness of these offences, imposed appropriate fines, and refused the appeal.

“Ealing Council’s food safety team will take swift action if a business is not complying with the law. They do a fantastic job protecting residents and supporting businesses to ensure that all food sold in the borough is safe and legal.”

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