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Brighton seafood restaurant fined over mouse droppings
2:13pm Tuesday 21st January 2014 in News
Brighton seafood restaurant owners have been ordered to pay almost £9,000 after food safety officers found mouse droppings in saucepans in the business’ kitchen.
Palor Ltd was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,862.50 at a hearing in Brighton Magistrates’ Court yesterday following a council inspection at the Ocean Restaurant in Kings Road, Brighton.
Brighton and Hove City Council food safety officers found a mouse infestation in the restaurant’s kitchen, with droppings on shelving under the sink, in a hand basin and in a saucepan during an inspection on September 21.
The business agreed to stop trading to clean up the kitchen and carry out further treatment and pleaded guilty yesterday to failing to keep its premises clean.
Councillor Pete West, chairman of the city’s environment committee, said: “It was lucky that customers did not become ill from food prepared under these conditions.”
The news comes as Which? released a report showing one in seven food establishments in the city are deemed not to be "broadly compliant" with basic hygeine inspections.
However Brighton and Hove also had an outstanding 100% success rate for proactive inspections which includes inspections, sampling and advice.
A spokesman for the city council said: “Those which aren’t deemed broadly compliant receive re-inspections and enforcement action such as closure, prosecution or improvement notices until we are happy that they have improved.”
Worthing Borough Council was named the worst performing Sussex district with just three quarters of food premises “broadly compliant” with basic hygiene inspections putting the authority 350th out of 395 nationally.
Mid Sussex District Council was also in the bottom quarter in the country with 75% of food premises broadly compliant.
The study of local authorities’ food safety teams was run by Which? consumer magazine to coincide with the first anniversary of the horse meat scandal.
A Worthing Borough Council spokeswoman said residents can feel “perfectly confident” in eating out in Worthing and said the figures could indicate that Worthing inspectors were tougher than others around the country.
Councillor Christopher Snowling, Mid Sussex District Council cabinet member for health and community, said the district has seen a high turnover of businesses and that “often new businesses may not be fully aware of what is required of them” but will improve standards quickly.
A Crawley Borough Council spokesman said environmental health officers inspected all high risk establishments but had reduced its very low risk visits while a Horsham District Council spokeswoman said a large number of new food businesses were home caterers making cakes and biscuits which were regarded as low risk and not formerly assessed but given advice.
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