29th November 2020

£14,000 fine for mice-infested café

A Manchester company has been fined more than £14,000 after council health inspectors uncovered a host of food safety violations at a café they own in Gorton – including evidence of mice.

Wong Wong Bakery Limited, owners of Wong Wong Café and Bakery, 1-7 Gorton Road, Gorton was fined £12,000 for six separate food safety offences and ordered to pay costs of £2388.18 at Manchester Magistrates Court on 4 May 2017.

On 17 March 2016, officers from Manchester City Council’s Environmental Health team visited the Wong Wong Café and Bakery, Gorton, to carry out a routine food safety inspection. The inspection revealed serious issues, such as evidence of mice activity and greasy and dirty conditions.

Mouse faeces were found in the serving and kitchen areas, under shelving and around the wok-range – as well as in the washing up area and under a chest freezer.

Several holes were observed at the premises that could allow access for vermin.

Surfaces of the walls, floors, canopy, wok range, shelving, chopping boards, duck ovens, and fridges were all found to be greasy and dirty.

The cloths and sponges in use were also unsanitary and needed replacing. A large quantity of raw duck had been left on a draining board next to the sink – creating a risk of cross contamination to the clean bowls and other food containers stored underneath.

Following the inspection the company agreed to voluntarily close the business until such time as the infestation was under control and the cleaning standards and food safety practices were improved.

The café and bakery did not reopen until 23 March 2016, when environmental health officers were satisfied the pest infestation was under control and that improved food safety practices and procedures were in place.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council executive member for neighbourhoods said: “All food businesses need to understand the responsibility they have to their customers, who rightly expect all cafes and restaurants to maintain the highest standards.

“The complete disregard for hygiene displayed by this company is frankly unacceptable, which is illustrated by the severity of the fine.

“This case should serve as a warning – our inspectors are out there and will not hesitate in taking action to protect the public.”

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