A café serving food to the public and staff at a Manchester car auction centre has been fined more than £30,000 after a routine inspection revealed serious violations of food safety rules and evidence of a mouse infestation.
Expedier Catering Ltd, who run catering facilities at the British Car Auctions, on Redgate Lane in Ardwick, appeared at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 5 October 2017. The company pleaded guilty to two offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulation 2013.
The company was fined £14,000 for each of the two food safety offences and order to pay costs of £3207.83 with a victim surcharge of £170.
On the 26 July 2016 officers from Manchester City Council’s Environmental Health team visited the British Car Auctions site and carried out a routine food inspection.
The inspection revealed evidence of mouse activity and inadequate cleaning of food preparation and serving areas.
Mouse faeces were found in the servery areas, in the tea bar and main kitchen area – both under and at the rear of equipment and along the floor as well as wall junctions. A dead mouse was found on a trap in a food service area.
Surfaces under and to the rear of equipment such as the ovens and fridges were found to harbour food debris.
The company agreed to voluntarily close the food business until such time as the infestation was under control and the cleaning standards and food safety practices were improved.
The food premises was not allowed to reopen until 1 August 2017, when officers were satisfied that the pest infestation was under control and that improved food safety practices and procedures were in place.
The Company has since improved standards and currently has a level 5 Food Hygiene rating.
Expedier Catering Ltd is a subsidiary of British Car Auctions, they provide catering services at 16 British Car Auction sites across the country.
Expedier Catering Ltd is based at Headway House, Crosby Lane, Farnham Surrey.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “It is vital that all food business maintain the very highest standards, failure to do so can put members of the public at serious risk.
“Violations of Food Safety and Hygiene regulations are not trivial matters and we use all the powers at our disposal to pursue those who flout the rules.
“The disregard for basic cleanliness in this case is beyond the pale – a fact that is reflected in the severity of the fine.”