RAT poo, poor cleaning and food eight months past its best before date were found by hygiene inspectors at a cafe.

Inspectors from Brighton and Hove City Council gave Salvage Cafe in Western Road the second lowest hygiene rating after a visit.

During the visit they found several rat droppings in the food store room and discovered rats had gnawed at a dishwasher waste pipe and chewed a sponge into small pieces.

They found a large bag of mozzarella a week past its best before date and a pack of nuts were eight months past the best before date.

The inspectors stated the cafe in Hove had made some improvements since their previous inspection a year before.

But they still gave the cafe a one star hygiene rating, which means that “major improvement” in food hygiene is necessary.

The report states: “Rats present a potential risk of contamination to food.

“Rat droppings and evidence of gnawing were found in the basement food storeroom/washing up area.You were not adequately managing pest control and cleaning in your business. There were no written food hygiene procedures on site or records of daily food safety checks.”

The report also told them “deep cleaning was required” and “allergens information was inadequate”.

The inspectors attached pictures of rat poo to their report to illustrate the reasons for the low hygiene grade.

An inspector wrote: “I was concerned at the time to find several rat droppings on the floor in the basement food storeroom/washing up area. Some droppings and photographs were taken as evidence, some of which are attached to this letter.

“There was a gap around the dishwasher waste pipe, which had been gnawed and a blue sponge cloth on the floor appeared to have been chewed into small pieces.

“Potential pest access points were identified and I was also concerned about poor standards of cleaning and a lack of documentation. You have been warned about similar contraventions on previous inspections and Hygiene Improvement Notices were served on you on 11 January 2018.

“Although improvements had been made when I revisited on 9 January 2019, some legal requirements still need to be completed and you must ensure better standards are maintained from now on.

“As agreed, I will be issuing a Simple Caution for the offences seen on 7 January 2019.”